"That's yet to be seen," Sandberg said. "It was just something to try today in spring training. Separate the lefthanded bats and see what that looks like. As it turned out, Howard still came up in a cleanup hitter's type of a situation with men on base."
Chase Utley singled and Byrd walked in the first inning of Monday's 8-1 loss to Atlanta. Howard flied out to center against Braves righty Brandon Beachy. Byrd stroked a two-out double in the third, but Howard stranded him with a groundout to first base.
Sandberg batted Carlos Ruiz sixth and Domonic Brown seventh to alternate lefthanded and righthanded batters through most of the order.
The Phillies are averaging 3.4 runs per game in Grapefruit League play, and that includes an 11-run outburst against Houston last week. Their .589 OPS is the worst in the majors this spring.
"It's March 10," Sandberg said. "It's also a spring-training atmosphere. Some guys are two at-bats, three at-bats, and out. Sprinkled with days off in there, kind of a choppy schedule for guys. We're still seeing everybody, giving everybody ample at-bats. Maybe it's hard for guys to get into a groove and get into a rhythm.
"When I look at the potential of the lineup and the potential bats we have together, I see an offense that has potential of doing some things. I put a lot on it being March 10."
Jonathan Pettibone (shoulder) will face hitters in live batting practice Wednesday. He is likely to begin the season on the disabled list. . . . David Buchanan, a candidate for fifth starter, will start Tuesday in Orlando against Atlanta.