Phillies Notes: Kendrick pitching Saturday against Braves

Kyle Kendrick is likely to pitch Saturday after recovering from a slight concussion, Ruben Amaro Jr. says. C5.
Kyle Kendrick is likely to pitch Saturday after recovering from a slight concussion, Ruben Amaro Jr. says. C5. (MARK J. TERRILL / AP)
Posted: July 04, 2013

PITTSBURGH - The Phillies' last best hope to show general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. that he should keep the core together probably has arrived.

The three games this week at PNC Park against Pittsburgh, the team with the best record in baseball, will be followed by three games at home against Atlanta, the team that leads the National League East.

Even manager Charlie Manuel is skeptical that this team can turn things around, but the Phillies did at least get some good news Tuesday on the injury front. Amaro said righthander Kyle Kendrick should be able to make his next scheduled start Saturday against the Braves after suffering a mild concussion Sunday in Los Angeles.

"Kyle had another test [Monday], and it came out very good," the general manager said before Tuesday's game against the Pirates. "He had an exertion test this morning and did very well. He's going to throw a bullpen [Wednesday] and he should be good to go for his start. Good news."

Kendrick suffered what Amaro termed a mild concussion when he was hit in the helmet by Los Angeles pitcher Stephen Fife during the sixth inning Sunday at Dodger Stadium. Kendrick pitched the bottom of the sixth but complained of a headache afterward.

"He feels fine," Amaro said. "I think it was a very mild one when they did the original testing after the game two days ago. He's doing really well. He even texted me to tell me he was really well, which is unusual."

Kendrick might be fine, but the Phillies were anything but as they started the final leg of their 10-game road trip. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins maintained Sunday that the Phillies still had time to turn things around.

"I agree with the fact that it is early enough," Amaro said. "We could still make a move, but we've got to play better and we better do it soon."

Amaro remained noncommittal about his intended direction at the trade deadline.

"We'll let people know if we make a decision one way or another," he said. "Yeah, they have to play well. They play well, the chances are we'll be buyers."

The Phillies under Manuel have always been a much better second-half team, including last year when they went from 14 games under .500 shortly after the all-star break to finish at .500.

 "They've had an uncanny ability to be able to do that, so we'll see," Amaro said. "We can't let ourselves get too far behind. It's just too much of a haul. It's at the point where we've got to start making some hay."

 Manuel isn't sure his team is capable of doing that this time.

"Can we put together 12 out of 16 [wins]?" Manuel asked. "It's not impossible, but at the same time I would question that."

Papelbon on Puig

There has been a movement to get Dodgers rightfielder Yasiel Puig added to the National League all-star team even though the 22-year-old Cuban has played less than a full month in the big leagues.

Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon made it clear he thinks the idea is ridiculous.

"To me, it's an absolute joke," Papelbon told the MLB Radio Network. "It's really kind of stupid, if you ask me. The guy's got a month, I don't even think he's got a month in the big leagues. Just comparing him to this and that, and saying he's going to make the all-star team, that's a joke to me."

Kratz getting close

Amaro said backup catcher Erik Kratz is getting close to returning from the disabled list after undergoing surgery on his left knee last month. "He'll be seen [by team physician Michael Ciccotti] when we get back home" on Friday, Amaro said. If all goes well, Kratz could begin a rehabilitation stint over the weekend.


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