Michael Young puts slump behind him

Michael Young celebrates his two-run home run with teammate Ben Revere. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Michael Young celebrates his two-run home run with teammate Ben Revere. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 21, 2013

Not much rattles Phillies third baseman Michael Young, who in the last two weeks has started to come out of a slump.

On June 5 after a 6-1 win over Miami, Young's average dipped to .257. He raised it to .288 Tuesday after he hit three doubles in a game for the second time in his career in a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals.

Young admitted that part of his problem was trying to do too much.

"When your team is struggling, you want to go the extra mile to help out," Young said before Wednesday's game at Citizens Bank Park. "The difference between a veteran player and a young player is that it doesn't take all season to make the adjustments."

Young entered Wednesday's game with two home runs and 15 RBIs, but he had hit five doubles in his last seven games and his .746 OPS was fifth among National League third basemen.

"For a while I was hitting more singles than I normally do, but I will never be taken out of my game plan," said Young, who entered the game with 999 career RBIs. "I just stay with it and stay positive."

Lefthanded dilemma

Chase Utley, who has been on the disabled list since May 23 with a right oblique strain, is expected to be back soon from his rehabilitation assignment with double-A Reading.

That will force manager Charlie Manuel to juggle his lineup, something he has done considerably.

With Domonic Brown now in the No. 5 hole, Manuel says he is hesitant to have three straight lefthanders - Utley, Ryan Howard and Brown - hit third through fifth. Utley has batted third 26 times this season, but never when Brown hit fifth.

"I don't think our best lineup is Utley, Howard and Brown hitting together," Manuel said before the game against Washington. "Everybody in the NL may go to five lefties in the pen."

Sandberg's judgment

Phillies third base coach Ryne Sandberg has come under scrutiny for the number of runners who have been thrown out at home. It happened again Tuesday when Delmon Young was gunned down by centerfielder Denard Span while trying to score from second with two outs on single by Cliff Lee. Young made an extra wide turn rounding third base.

Manuel, as he has recently, strongly backed the work of Sandberg.

"I haven't seen him send a guy where the play says he shouldn't have been sent," Manuel said. "From what I have seen of Ryne, the guys he sent so far, I would have sent every one of them."


 

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