4/2/2014 8:11 P.M. ET
Sandberg not afraid to stack Utley, Howard in lineup
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Manager Ryne Sandberg had Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hit back-to-back in the Phillies lineup Wednesday, despite Rangers left-hander Robbie Ross Jr. on the mound. He split up the two Tuesday against Rangers lefty Martin Perez. Why the change?
"[Ross] has a big difference in splits with right-handed and left-handed bats," Sandberg said. "Left-handers are hitting a career .280 against him, and right-handers .230. So he's got reverse splits. He features a changeup and some pitches running away from the right-handed hitter that we hope to take advantage of with the left-handed bats."
Howard's streak of hitting cleanup was snapped at 665 consecutive games Tuesday, when he hit fifth. It was the longest streak since Albert Belle hit fourth 672 consecutive games from 1991-96 with the Indians.
Rollins away from club for birth of second child
ARLINGTON -- The Phillies could be without Jimmy Rollins through the weekend.
He left the team Wednesday to be with his wife Johari in Philadelphia for the imminent birth of their second child. Rollins could be placed on the Major League Baseball's paternity leave list as early as Friday. Teams have 48 hours to place the player on leave once the baby is born.
Players can take up to three days of paternity leave.
"He had a reason to go today," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.
The Phillies played Wednesday's series finale against the Rangers at Globe Life Park with 24 players. If and when they place Rollins on paternity leave, they would be allowed to replace him on the roster.
"When the baby is delivered, we'll go from there," Sandberg said.
Jayson Nix is expected to play shortstop while Rollins is out. Cesar Hernandez would only be played there in an emergency situation.
"He's very steady, very professional, very polished infielder," Sandberg said of Nix. "I heard good things about his glove, and after watching him take ground balls, he's fundamentally sound. I've also been impressed with his batting practice, and his at-bats last night."
Hamels, Adams take important steps forward
ARLINGTON -- Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels and right-hander Mike Adams are taking important steps in their return to the active 25-man roster.
Hamels, who is on the disabled list recovering from left shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to make a rehab start Sunday with Class A Clearwater. Hamels said he could make just three more rehab starts following Sunday, which would put him on schedule to rejoin the Phillies' rotation around April 26 or 27.
Adams, who is on the DL recovering from right shoulder surgery, makes a rehab appearance Thursday with Clearwater. He hopes to rejoin the Phillies' bullpen by the middle of the month.
Galvis may return by the middle of April
ARLINGTON -- Infielder Freddy Galvis is on the disabled list recovering from an MRSA infection, but he could be back by the middle of the month.
He began baseball activities Monday, according to manager Ryne Sandberg, and could begin playing in extended Spring Training games Sunday in Clearwater, Fla.
"He's coming along very well," Sandberg said.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.