Phillies Notes: Frandsen has done well for Phillies at third base

Posted: September 01, 2012

Chase Utley fielded some ground balls over at third base Wednesday afternoon, and the tweeters started chirping about his potential future there with the Phillies.

Earlier in the month, there was speculation that maybe Carlos Ruiz could spend some time at third base.

What about Jimmy Rollins at third? Freddy Galvis? Some free agent?

It's as if an invisible man has been playing third base for the Phillies during the last month.

In truth, Kevin Frandsen has been holding down the position quite well, and he continued to do so Thursday with a four-hit game that included a double, an RBI, and a run scored in a 3-2 win over the New York Mets.

The four hits raised Frandsen's batting average to .355 in 29 games since he was recalled from triple-A Lehigh Valley. Frandsen has taken over third base from Placido Polanco, and manager Charlie Manuel was asked if the 30-year-old northern California native could remain the starter in 2013.

"I would never rule that out," Manuel said. "I just leave him alone and let him play. That's how players develop the right way. Just leave them alone and let them play and see where it takes him."

Frandsen is trying not to think beyond the present. He is not surprised, however, by what he has done in the past month.

"I've done it every year when I play every day," Frandsen said. "That's a fact. You guys can look back on all my minor-league stuff. I never sat the bench [there]."

Frandsen is a career .310 hitter with a .368 on-base percentage and .804 OPS in 2,294 career minor-league at-bats.

"This is an opportunity for me to show myself as a guy who can make adjustments on a day-in and day-out basis," Frandsen said. "And I feel like I've done that."

Lerud's debut

After nine seasons and 685 games in the minors, catcher Steven Lerud made his major-league debut for the Phillies Thursday against the New York Mets.

Lerud, a third-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003, joined the Phillies six days ago when Brian Schneider was placed on the disabled list with a strained hamstring. His mother, Eva, immediately flew in from Reno, Nev., in the hopes of seeing her son play his first big-league game. She had been waiting for almost a week and already had a plane ticket to Atlanta for Friday's game against the Braves just in case Lerud was nothing more than a spectator for a sixth straight game.

"She'll probably have a few tears," Lerud said before the game. "She'll probably be more nervous than I am."

After grounding out in his first big-league at-bat, Lerud singled off Jonathon Niese in the fourth inning. He gave the ball to his mother after the game.

"I found her after the game," Lerud said. "She was pretty excited and trying to hold it together. I went and gave her the ball, and she lost it. Any time you get a chance to go out there and win a ball game it's a lot of fun. That was pretty cool."

Papelbon in good company

Jonathan Papelbon registered the final three outs in the ninth inning for his 30th save, marking the seventh straight season he has reached that plateau. The only other relievers to put together at least seven straight 30-save seasons are Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Robb Nen, and Troy Percival. Rivera had a streak of nine straight 30-save seasons from 2003 to '11, and Hoffman put together eight straight 30-save seasons from 1996 to 2002. Nen (1996-2002) and Percival (1998-2004) each had seven straight 30-save seasons.

Extra bases

After missing his scheduled start Wednesday because of a stomach problem, lefty Cole Hamels is expected to return to the mound for a start Sunday in Atlanta. . . . Dom Brown did not start for the second game in a row because of a sore left knee. He did pinch-hit Wednesday and was announced as a pinch-hitter Thursday but did not bat when the Mets brought in a lefthander. . . . Phillies infielder Hector Luna was outrighted off the 40-man roster and elected free agency. The Phillies are now at 39 players on the 40-man roster, a spot that could be filled by Reading's Darin Ruf. Ruf broke Ryan Howard's record at Reading with his 38th homer of the season Thursday.

Contact Bob Brookover

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