Phillies Notes: Phillies' Frandsen appreciates patience shown by Sandberg

Kevin Frandsen started slowly at the plate this season. STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer
Kevin Frandsen started slowly at the plate this season. STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer
Posted: August 24, 2012

Third baseman Kevin Frandsen continues to make the most of his opportunity for extended playing time with the Phillies, but it might not have worked out that way if Ryne Sandberg, his manager at triple-A Lehigh Valley, did not display patience at the start of the season.

Frandsen went 3 for 4 with a triple and made an outstanding defensive play in Tuesday's 5-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, but he was replaced by Placido Polanco in Wednesday's starting lineup.

Manager Charlie Manuel said when Polanco returned from the disabled list on Monday that his two third basemen would likely alternate days in the beginning.

Frandsen, 30, is hitting .358 in 81 at-bats after a pinch-hit single in Wednesday's ninth inning. This is much better than the way he started the season at Lehigh Valley.

In April he batted .197 (14 for 71) with one RBI for the IronPigs.

"It shot my confidence through the roof that the coaches stayed with me," Frandsen said before Wednesday's game at Citizens Bank Park.

Frandsen, a career .310 hitter in 2,294 minor-league at-bats, said he had hit into some tough luck and appreciated that Sandberg realized the hits would come.

"Ryno played the game and understands you don't always look at results," Frandsen said. "I was putting up competitive at-bats with nothing to show for it, but he kept putting me in the two-three hole because he knows how good a hitter I am in his mind and my mind. . . . I believe in myself, and [hitting coach] Sal [Rende] kept working with me and we got things right."

Injury update

Catcher Carlos Ruiz and outfielder Nate Schierholtz took their first swings in Phillies batting practice since going on the disabled list. Each had hit in the cage, but this was another step.

Ruiz has been on the DL retroactive to Aug. 3 with a partial tear in his left foot. Schierholtz has been on the DL since Aug. 13 with a broken right big toe.

Ruiz has said that he hopes to begin running next week.

Schierholtz ran in the outfield before the game.

"I am getting close," Schierholtz said. "I wouldn't say it's fully healed, but the soreness has gone down a lot."

Brown's potential

Manuel sees the power potential in Domonic Brown.

Manuel did not hesitate when asked before the game if he thought Brown could eventually have 20-homer potential.

"I think he could be better than that if he masters his swing and gets down how to do it," Manuel said.

Manuel's faith was rewarded in the fifth inning, when Brown hit his first homer of the season, a solo shot to right off winning pitcher Bronson Arroyo.

Brown now has eight career home runs in 324 at-bats, including 78 this season.

"I saw the ball up and hit it," said Brown, who hit his first home run in 154 at-bats since his last one, June 28 of last year against Boston.

Reds farmhand sets mark

Shortstop Billy Hamilton of the Reds' double-A team, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, broke Vince Coleman's minor-league record of 145 stolen bases Tuesday with four thefts in a 4-2 loss to the visiting Montgomery Biscuits.

That gave Hamilton, a 21-year-old switch-hitter, 147 steals this season, 43 for Pensacola.

"The pounding you take, the sliding and the fact that he has been able to do that and stay healthy is a remarkable feat," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Someday he will be here and I am looking forward to it."

|
|
|
|
|