05/17/08 2:24 AM ET
Jenkins tired of all the sitting
Outfielder's been out of lineup with teams starting southpaws
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
With Jayson Werth, who hit three homers -- a solo shot, a three-run blast and a grand slam -- in the Phillies' 10-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Friday, hitting .321 against southpaws and Shane Victorino playing every day in center, the decision for a platoon situation with Werth in right field for manager Charlie Manuel has been easy. This season, Jenkins is batting .276 against righties and .091 in 11 at-bats vs. lefties. Last season against southpaws, he hit .215.Jenkins knew Atlanta was throwing three straight lefties in a series earlier this week, but he held out hope for Friday since Toronto's starter was listed as "to be determined." Those hopes were dashed when Purcey was announced. Jenkins will reach an oasis on Saturday, when the Phillies are scheduled to face five straight righties. "Yes," Jenkins said, pumping his fist. "They throw with the right hand. I'll be excited." Jenkins obviously understands his situation. Since Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are playing daily, Manuel doesn't want three lefties inserted in the lineup against southpaws. Plus, Werth is performing well. Jenkins keeps ready by loosening up in the fifth inning, along with fellow lefty bench player Greg Dobbs, waiting for an opportunity. They also might sneak additional peeks at potential righty relievers. "Getting one at-bat is a tough gig, but those are important at-bats," Jenkins said. "There's going to be key situations where I might get a big hit." Manuel also feels that Jenkins is close to a hot streak. "It's a matter of time," Manuel said. "He's going to put some numbers up. He doesn't need four days off very often."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.