Pence Gets A Break
Hunter Pence gets a break today at Turner Field, and not because a trade is imminent … or so we’re told.
Charlie Manuel started Laynce Nix in right field for the team’s series finale against the Braves. Pence has nine hits in his last 39 at-bats (.153), although he has nine RBIs in that stretch. Keeping him out of the starting lineup today means Pence will get a two-day break with no game scheduled Monday.
“I wanted to sit him down,” Manuel said. “He’s been trying. He tries real hard. He tries too hard. Let his mind take a break today and tomorrow.”
Pence’s name has circulated in trade rumors, but it is believed the Phillies would have to be compensated richly to move him. He remains under the team’s control next season, and he is the team’s only right-handed power bat other than Carlos Ruiz, who is 33 and having a career year. If the Phillies trade an outfielder before Tuesday’s Trade Deadline, Shane Victorino and Juan Pierre are more likely candidates. I’ve got to think Joe Blanton will be moved, if somebody puts together a fair package for him.