PHILADELPHIA -- Delmon Young, making his return from ankle surgery, officially began his rehab assignment Sunday for Class A Clearwater. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has said he's more focused on Young's defense in right field than his offense. He repeated that before Sunday's game, even though the Phillies had scored three or fewer runs in eight of their previous nine games at the time.
"Obviously, we want his bat. But if he can't play defense, he's not going to play in the National League. He's got to be adequate out there," Amaro said.
Young had a single in four at-bats plus a sacrifice fly in his first rehab game and was charged with an error.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who would love to have Young's bat in the lineup, had a slightly different stance.
"If he can produce on offense, more than likely we can defense for him in the outfield late in the game. It's not like we want to embarrass him, but if he can help us offensively, then I think we have to give him a chance," Manuel said.
No matter what, Young doesn't represent a quick fix. Manuel estimated that he'll need 10-14 days of at-bats before the team could consider adding him to the active roster.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.