9/8/2013 12:42 A.M. ET
Revere, Howard to play in instructional league
By Paul Hagen / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies expect both center fielder Ben Revere (broken right ankle) and first baseman Ryan Howard (left knee inflammation) to play again before the end of the season.
The Florida instructional league season, that is.
Revere will head for Clearwater, Fla., when the current homestand ends after Wednesday night's game with the Braves. Howard is already at the team's Spring Training site. The purpose is to allow both players to go into the offseason convinced they're fully recovered and ready to go next spring.
"They'll get more individualized attention there and they're starting to work in some of their baseball skills, so as we get closer and closer to FIL, those guys will be doing more and more," said general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. "Hopefully at some point, when they get their bodies together, they'll be healthy enough to play in some games. At the end of the day, we just want to make sure that, at least for their peace of mind, they know mentally that they're ready.
"They'll play as long as we think it's necessary. Whether it's two games or 10 games or 12 games. It's about being able to go into the offseason knowing that they're ready to go, ready for Spring Training."
The first instructional league workout is scheduled for Sept. 18; Games will be played from Sept. 24 through Oct. 12.
"It's just to have [Revere] pass the test, so he'll have a fresh mind once the offseason starts," said interim manager Ryne Sandberg. "Whatever number of days or games that means, he'll get into some games so he's game-ready and ready to go to start the offseason, looking forward to 2014. [Playing in the big leagues this year] is not in the game plan or the purpose of him going there. It's not to rush him back for this year.
"It's a lot like Ryan Howard, who's on a similar program. To have some games played, to have some peace of mind, and to also pass the test with the organization that, hey, they're doing everything on the baseball field to play a game. Now they can have their offseason and go about their business and do their routines knowing that in the spring, they're good to go."
Brown not going to rush back from Achilles injury
PHILADELPHIA -- All-Star outfielder Domonic Brown left the Phillies' game at Wrigley Field with a sore right Achilles tendon on Aug. 30. He pinch-hit the next two games, but was still feeling pain. So he was shut down. At the time, it was thought he'd miss a week to 10 days.
Sunday's game against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park ends the first full week Brown has been out. And interim manager Ryne Sandberg said Saturday that while he expects Brown to return before the regular season ends on Sept. 29, the organization will be careful not to hurry him.
"He's not doing any baseball activities," Sandberg said. "He's on a complete shutdown for a number of days. No set amount. Just to get any swelling or soreness out of the Achilles area. Just to get that all behind him. Once he gets to that point, he'll get on the field to do some things and we'll monitor him closely and see when he's actually ready to get back into a game. We'll take it slowly.
"The initial thing was a week to 10 days. If it takes two weeks, it takes two weeks. If it takes 20 days, it takes 20 days. Whatever it is. It will be up to him with the total rest. And as he gets back on the field and does baseball activities, it will be practice only. Then see how that responds the next day. It will be a careful situation with him."
There are a couple reasons why the team is proceeding with such caution. One is that the Phillies aren't in contention. The other is the experience with Ryan Howard, who tried to play through an Achilles injury, only to have it rupture completely.
"That's one thing. This time of the year, and you're talking the Achilles, absolutely. To allow him to play a game and feel pain in that area, I don't think that's very smart, either, because it hasn't worked. He tried taking [two] days off, said he was pain free, played a couple games and it came right back. So we're going to be more on the cautious side this time around."
Rupp's chance to start will come eventually
PHILADELPHIA -- Catcher Cameron Rupp was a September callup after splitting this season between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In his final 21 games with the IronPigs, he batted .329 with three homers and 11 RBIs. Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg wants a chance to evaluate Rupp. He just hasn't found the right opportunity to get him a start yet.
"I think about that daily when I make out the lineups. I'm anxious to see him. Like everybody else, he'll have his spot to get in a game," Sandberg said. "He's helping out with some bullpen [sessions]. So it will just be a matter of getting into a game when it feels right. I make out the lineups with the purpose of a quality game and a chance to win. That's always the first and foremost thing."
Right-hander Tyler Cloyd will start against the Padres on Tuesday, so Rupp is familiar with him from Lehigh Valley.
"That would be a consideration, but I don't think it would be a bottom-line thing. I don't think it would matter that much to me, who he would catch. A guy like Cliff Lee, he doesn't have a catcher he prefers. None of the pitchers do. For the most part, the pitcher has the ball and it's just a matter of a game plan and communication. So that's another thing you look at to see how he does and where he's at."
• Backup catcher Erik Kratz hit .130 in his last 46 at-bats entering play Saturday, a slump that roughly coincides with his return from the disabled list (left knee injury).
"I would say his short (rehab) stint in the Minors and not getting the proper at-bats might have gotten him off to a slow start as he's come back," said Sandberg. "In some ways, he really hasn't found a groove in his at-bats. He hasn't swung the bat as well and had the production he's had in the past."
• Rookie second baseman Cesar Hernandez started his fourth straight game in center field Saturday night. It was also his fifth start there in the last five games. There's no particular reason for that, according to Sandberg.
"That's just the way it's happening right now," he said. "As of right now, he's found himself in there just because I've wanted to see what that looks like. And he's shown some good things. He's doing a nice job, taking to it pretty well."
Hernandez went 3-for-5 with a double and scored twice in Saturday night's 6-5 win over the Braves.
• If Freddy Galvis doesn't start a game, Sandberg thinks he's good for a defensive replacement at second base, third base and his natural position of shortstop.
"Those three, for sure," he said. "In the National League, you're talking double-switches and things like that. And he's a switch-hitter, which late into the game also comes into effect with the mixes and matches with the bullpen guys coming in. So he's a plus with that as well."
• Kevin Frandsen was 1-for-12 against the Braves this year before going 3-for-5 Saturday night. In his last 11 2/3 innings, 18 of the 35 outs he's recorded 18 (51.4 percent) have been strikeouts.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.