5/14/2013 7:25 P.M. ET
Phillies sign top German prospect to Minor League deal
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies confirmed they have signed Julsan Kamara, a 17-year-old outfielder from Germany, to a Minor League contract. He will join the Phillies next spring once he finishes school.
Kamara attended the MLB European Academy in Italy in 2012. He reportedly is one of the better German prospects in baseball.
"The Phillies cover many events internationally and while at the MLB European Tournament in Italy, we saw a German outfielder, Julsan Kamara, who showed good power potential, so we set up a meeting with his family and signed him," Phillies international scouting director Sal Agostinelli said. "He seems like a fine young man."
Bourn returns to Philly, wonders what might have been
PHILADELPHIA -- Sure, Michael Bourn wondered if the Phillies would call.
Why wouldn't he?
They drafted him in the fourth round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft. He worked his way through the farm system before he started to show his potential in the big leagues in '07, when he hit .277 with 18 stolen bases in 119 at-bats.
But the Phillies traded him to Houston that November to acquire Brad Lidge, whose season of perfection helped the Phillies win the 2008 World Series. Bourn eventually blossomed into an All-Star, but as he hit free agency last fall, he could not help but wonder if the Phillies would be interested in a reunion.
Bourn heard from some of his former teammates during the 2012 season, asking if he might come back, but he knew that was just talk. The people controlling the purse strings make those types of decisions.
"I think I might have been on their hit list," Bourn said Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park. "I don't know how high or what their target was, or if they were worried about what Scott [Boras] was going to do. There are a lot of teams that say they want you to be part of their organization, but you don't know if they really do. You have a whole bunch of teams that say they're interested. But when it comes down to it, there's about three or four of them. Really, two."
The Phillies had interest in Bourn, but not at his original asking price, believed to be considerably higher than the four-year, $48 million deal he eventually signed with Cleveland in January. Had the Phillies not acquired Ben Revere from the Twins in December, the Phillies might have made a late run at Bourn in January, but that never happened.
The Indians are happy to have him. Bourn is a tremendous defensive center fielder and has a .348 on-base percentage from 2009 through this season. He is also hitting .293 with a .359 on-base percentage in 64 plate appearances this year.
That type of production would look pretty good atop the Phillies' lineup. Phillies leadoff hitters entered the night with a .273 on-base percentage, which ranked 27th in baseball.
Bourn said he expects Revere to adjust. Revere, who did not start Tuesday against the Indians, is hitting .400 (8-for-20) with three walks in his last eight games.
"Getting adjusted to play in Philly is different," Bourn said. "When you come here, it's different. They want you to do everything right now. That's the only advantage I would have had, because I've played here before. But I'm really happy [in Cleveland].
"Yeah, I guess the Phillies were interested a little bit. But that's not how it went down."
Utley kept out of starting lineup Tuesday vs. Tribe
PHILADELPHIA -- Chase Utley has been a bright spot for the Phillies offensively, but he did not start Tuesday against the Indians at Citizens Bank Park.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel thought with no games scheduled Monday and Thursday, an additional day off could go a long way into keeping him fresh and healthy. Utley, who had started 18 consecutive games before Tuesday, missed much of the previous two seasons because of bad knees.
The Phillies have said Utley is healthy, and he is putting together an impressive season. He entered the night with an .858 OPS, which is the best among National League second basemen.
"A day would be good for Ut," Manuel said. "We'll try to monitor him and get him off his feet at times."
Manuel said Utley's break had little to do with the fact the Phillies faced left-hander Scott Kazmir. Utley entered the night hitting .162 (6-for-37) against left-handers.
Manuel started Kevin Frandsen at second. He entered the game hitting .429 (6-for-14) with one homer and three RBIs against left-handers.
Reliable reliever Adams dealing with back injury
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies setup man Mike Adams has been one of the team's more reliable relievers, so they can't afford to lose him.
But Adams said Tuesday his back is still grabbing him, as it did on Sunday in Arizona when he could not pitch because of back spasms. He was examined Monday, and he said "everything looks fine." Adams said he hopes he isn't out long.
"Hopefully it kind of goes away here pretty quickly," Adams said. "It's kind of weird. I've never had anything like it before. I threw that morning and felt fine. I went through BP, and the last five minutes of BP it kind of grabbed me."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.