Phillies Notes: Byrd sits, but it's just to get some rest, Sandberg says

Phillies right fielder Marlon Byrd. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Phillies right fielder Marlon Byrd. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Posted: July 31, 2014

NEW YORK - There were 47 hours until Thursday's trade deadline when Marlon Byrd emerged Tuesday evening for Phillies batting practice. He sang along to the Cure, announcing his presence even though he was not in the lineup. That, especially at this time of year, can signal a trade.

"Really?" a coy Ryne Sandberg said. "No, no. Not at all."

Byrd, Sandberg said, fouled a ball off his left foot during his four-hit performance Monday. It was the second time in a few days the outfielder nicked that foot. He hobbled a bit Monday. And Sandberg wanted to rest Byrd, who had started 26 straight games, so this made sense for the manager.

Sandberg expected Byrd to play in the series finale noon Wednesday at Citi Field. But Byrd could be elsewhere soon; the trade deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday, and he is the best available power bat.

"He's always a guy sitting there as a threat," Sandberg said. "Always a threat, against all kinds of pitching. Real consistent."

Byrd played some of his best baseball during that 26-game stretch of starts. He batted .294 with a .330 on-base percentage and .514 slugging percentage. He is on pace for 30 home runs, which would surpass his career high of 24, established last season.

Grady Sizemore started for Byrd in right field. The Phillies could use Sizemore or Domonic Brown in right if Byrd is traded.

Scouting a Cuban

The Phillies held a private workout with Rusney Castillo, a 27-year-old Cuban outfield prospect, Tuesday at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. Castillo, a source said, will participate in a similar session with Boston later this week. He could soon sign with the highest bidder.

Sandberg said he watched older video of Castillo, who defected in December and gained residency in Haiti. The Phillies manager said a brief examination of Castillo reminded him of a Byrd and Yasiel Puig combination. Castillo is 5 foot 9, 210 pounds.

"He looked pretty good," Sandberg said.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. attended the Castillo workout and then flew to New York for Tuesday night's game.

Castillo is considered a centerfielder. He could sign for more than $30 million and is not subject to Major League Baseball's restrictions on international spending.

Extra bases

Byrd and Carlos Ruiz each had four hits in Monday's 7-1 loss, which made them the first pair of teammates since 1984 to accumulate four hits in a game in which their team scored no more than one run, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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