Phillies hoping Young can make strides on defense

Phillies hoping Young can make strides on defense

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies took a chance in January when they signed Delmon Young to a Minor League contract.

They believed he could help their offense.

But Young is hitting .215 (20-for-93) with four doubles, four home runs and 10 RBIs in 28 games. He has a .387 slugging percentage and a .279 on-base percentage. He has played OK defensively, although a throwing error led to a run in the second and a dropped ball in right in the fifth led to a run in a 4-3 loss to the Brewers at Citizens Bank Park.

"I think sooner or later we definitely are going to have to evaluate him and decide," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "When you're playing like that and trying to get going [as a team], there is a time when you have to sit down and definitely evaluate not only his performance and other guys' too. I think that's when we'll decide, actually how much he gets to play or what. I think he's going to hit. There again, it's kind of like, when? I don't like to give up on a guy that's got the track record like he has with the bat. What I saw in Miami showed me that if he would get going and steady, that he could be a big addition to our lineup."

Young appeared to be heating up late last month when he hit .333 (5-for-15) with one double, two home runs and four RBIs in four games. But since then he has hit .182 (6-for-33) with one home run and three RBIs in nine games.

"It's only [93] at bats," Young said. "...But when you're losing, you're trying to do a little of everything to help the team score runs."

About the dropped ball, Young said, "It hit my glove. And when I went to squeeze it, it had already popped out. If it lands inside your glove but if the spring pops the ball out you can't do anything about it."

The dropped ball was ruled a triple.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.