Phillies Notes: New Phillies Nate Schierholtz and Josh Lindblom still trying to prove themselves

Nate Schierholtz, celebrating Monday's win
Nate Schierholtz, celebrating Monday's win (with teammates, is hitting only .196 since coming over from Giants seven weeks ago. He also missed time with an injury. JIM McISAAC / Getty Images)
Posted: September 21, 2012

NEW YORK - When Nate Schierholtz arrived in a trade for Hunter Pence, he was installed as the Phillies' starting rightfielder. Josh Lindblom, a righthanded reliever acquired for Shane Victorino, became the team's primary setup man.

That was seven weeks ago.

"I understand the situation," Schierholtz said before Wednesday's game, another spent on the bench.

Schierholtz started nine of 10 games upon his arrival. He missed two weeks with a broken toe and has started a mere three games since. Lindblom walked six and allowed six runs in his first seven outings, which knocked him down the depth chart.

The trades will not be judged upon seven weeks, of course. Nevertheless, the Phillies are left with largely incomplete results. Schierholtz and Lindblom were only two of the acquired pieces; catcher Tommy Joseph and righty Ethan Martin both finished strong at double-A Reading.

Entering Wednesday, Schierholtz was hitting .196 with a .544 OPS in 57 plate appearances with the Phillies. Lindblom had a 4.34 ERA with 15 walks in 18 2/3 innings.

Manager Charlie Manuel conceded Wednesday that he cannot grade the two players. He spoke highly of both despite a lack of production.

Lindblom, 25, has displayed a penchant for strikeouts but not without a glut of walks. Only three of his 21 outings have been clean full innings. There has been improvement; opponents have scored two earned runs over his last 11 appearances.

"Originally, as human beings, we try to impress and do more than we're capable at times," Lindblom said. "It got to a point where it was like, 'I have to be myself.' There is a reason why the Phillies traded for me. They wanted me. It wasn't to do anything more than I was already doing."

Manuel, for one, is a Lindblom supporter. He sees the righty pitching anywhere from the sixth to the eighth inning.

"He's definitely a piece for our bullpen," Manuel said. "He has talent."

When Schierholtz returned from the disabled list, the Phillies were back in contention. Manuel has ridden the success of Juan Pierre against righty pitchers. That means little time for Schierholtz, who is not guaranteed a spot in 2013.

The 28-year-old outfielder is making $1.3 million this season and is eligible for a raise through arbitration in 2013. That could make him a non-tender candidate.

"He hasn't had a fair shake," Manuel said. "Since he's come back he hasn't had a real big chance to play. Pierre got hot and we wanted to play [Domonic] Brown. Schierholtz hasn't played enough for me to really pass judgment on him. I'll play him all I can. I have an idea of how good he can be."

How good is that?

"There will be time for us to play him," Manuel said.

Schierholtz, who lamented his part-time status in San Francisco, wants his chance to happen in Philadelphia.

"I feel like given the time I could help this team out," Schierholtz said. "I'm just hoping one day I'll get that shot here."

Extra bases

Jimmy Rollins is the Phillies' nominee for the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award, the highest community service honor bestowed by Major League Baseball. . . . The Phillies have six farmhands playing in World Baseball Classic qualifying games, which began Wednesday. Outfielder Tyson Gillies, lefty Jay Johnson, and righty Chris Kissock represent Canada. Righty Marek Minarik is playing for the Czech Republic; outfielder Aaron Altherr is with Germany; and infielder Albert Cartwright is with Britain.


 

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