Pierre proving to be a good pickup

Pierre proving to be a good pickup

Pierre proving to be a good pickup
TORONTO -- There was no guarantee what role Juan Pierre was going to have on the Phillies this season, let alone if he was even going to make the team.

Philadelphia inked Pierre to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training in the offseason. After breaking camp with the team, he has made the most of his opportunity.

The speedster entered Saturday batting .325, with a .363 on-base percentage over 57 games and 191 at-bats.

"I'm feeling decent," Pierre said. "I'm getting a chance to play. I don't think anybody expected me to have this many at-bats at this point. I'm just making the most of the opportunity. I'm just finding holes and hopefully I can continue it throughout the season."

The 34-year-old, who is a career .297 hitter, may have surprised some with his hot start, but not batting coach Greg Gross.

"Pierre is just a true professional," Gross said. "He prepares very well and is always ready. You have to remember, he had close to 190 hits last year. It's not like he has slacked off. The only thing that is different now is speed-wise -- he's not as a quick as he was. But he still runs the bases well and is pesky at the plate. He has started a number of rallies for us this year.

"This was a good pickup."

Pierre had 178 hits last season over 158 games. While his speed might not be what it used to be, he still has the second-most stolen bases on the team with 13.