6/19/2013 7:28 P.M. ET
Manuel will be challenged to find spot for Frandsen
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Manager Charlie Manuel likes to say that if you can hit, he will find a spot for you in his lineup.
But will Manuel really find a place for Kevin Frandsen with Chase Utley expected back from the disabled list before the end of the weekend?
Frandsen, who started Wednesday's game against the Nationals at second base, entered having hit .304 (14-for-46) with three doubles, two home runs, five RBIs, three walks, four strikeouts and a .907 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 15 prior starts this season. He hit .330 (62-for-188) with 10 doubles, three triples, two home runs, 13 RBIs and an .828 OPS in 49 starts last season. Those are good numbers for a team desperate for offense.
But with Utley coming back to be the everyday second baseman, is there any way for Manuel to get Frandsen into the lineup? Third base would make sense, but Michael Young hit .408 (20-for-49) with five doubles, one triple, four RBIs and a .971 OPS over his prior 12 games before Wednesday's series finale with Washington.
Manuel could play Frandsen occasionally at first base when the Phillies face a left-hander. Frandsen entered Wednesday hitting .395 (34-for-86) with seven doubles, two triples, two home runs, eight RBIs and a 1.046 OPS against left-handers the past two seasons, while Ryan Howard was hitting just .206 with a .599 OPS against lefties this season, and .205 with a .618 OPS against lefties the previous three seasons.
Manuel said he could play Frandsen in the outfield, although it sounded unlikely. Frandsen has played 14 games in the outfield in the big leagues, but just one inning since 2007.
"If it gets to a point, I may try things," Manuel said. "Right now, it looks like second and third and first base every now and then. But I'll never rule out where to play him. Especially if he can catch a ball that he's supposed to catch."
Manuel backs Sandberg's decisions at third
PHILADELPHIA -- Delmon Young is not fleet footed, but Phillies third-base coach Ryne Sandberg sent him home from second base with two outs on a single to center in the fifth inning of Tuesday's 4-2 win over the Nationals.
Nationals center fielder Denard Span threw Young out at the plate, but it took a good throw to do it.
Entering play Wednesday, the Phillies had 10 players make an out at home plate on a running play this season, which is second in the National League. Only the Diamondbacks had more, with 11. But Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he has had no problem with Sandeberg's aggressiveness.
"If you look and see who's coming up, that plays into it, the situations of the game," Manuel said. "But let me tell you something: If you're on second base with two outs, the moment he hits the ball, you can go. If I'm on second, and I look at the situation, I have to cheat as much as I can, as much lead as I can get, and also I have to really concentrate so when that batter hits it I can go. Just like that. I don't have to stand around, look around to see where the ball went.
"And the players nowadays do that, and it ticks me off. It really does. You see it? They do it all the time. And then they can't go, they get to third and you have to hold them up."
Manuel mentioned wide turns around third base, too.
"I call that the scenic route," he said.
Another factor in Sandberg's aggressiveness is the Phillies came into Wednesday's game hitting just .234 with runners in scoring position with two outs this season, which ranked 17th in baseball. In other words, it isn't like the Phillies have come up with bunches of clutch hits this season.
"From what I've seen from Ryne, the guys he's sent so far, I would have sent every one of them," Manuel said. "Really."
M. Young joins 1,000 RBI club on two-run homer
Phillies third baseman Michael Young drove in his 1,000th and 1,001st career runs when he connected on his third homer of the year, a two-run shot off of Gio Gonzalez during the bottom of the first inning of Philadelphia's 6-2 loss to Washington on Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park.
The 36-year-old Young became the 242nd Major League player to reach 1,000 career RBIs. He joins 18 other active players in the Majors who have reached the mark.
The seven-time All-Star made his Major League debut in September 2000 for Texas at the age of 23 and amassed 984 RBIs over 13 seasons in a Rangers uniform before he was dealt to the Phillies last December.
Young's 984 RBIs with the Rangers place him third in franchise history behind Juan Gonzalez (1,180) and Rafael Palmeiro (1,030). He has now driven in 17 runs this season for the Phillies.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.