SEATTLE — Howie Kendrick appears to be headed to the disabled list again — and at a very inopportune time.
Kendrick was in the Phillies' initial starting lineup on Wednesday — as the designated hitter — but he was removed after telling manager Pete Mackanin that his left hamstring was still bothering him.
"He said he didn't want to push it," Mackanin said. "He said, 'I'm a no-go.'"
Kendrick has been bothered by a sore left hamstring since late last week, but he's been able to hit and run the bases. He hasn't been able to play defense because the quick starts and stops put pressure on his hamstring. With the Phillies returning to National League play on Friday night in New York — no DH — Kendrick is likely to end up on the disabled list for the second time this season.
"We have to consider the DL," Mackanin said. "I can't keep having a player I can't play on defense."
Kendrick opened the season as the Phillies' leftfielder. Two weeks into the season, he suffered an abdominal strain and spent six weeks on the DL. He has most recently been playing second base in place of injured Cesar Hernandez.
Going on the disabled list would keep Kendrick out until at least the All-Star break and it could impact his trade value. Teams that are looking for a versatile player with a good bat certainly have a book on Kendrick, a 10-year veteran, but they may be wary of his health. He turns 34 on July 12.
It will be interesting to see how the Phillies fill Kendrick's spot on the 25-man roster, if he indeed goes on the DL. Bringing up utility man such as Pedro Florimon could make some sense, but he's not on the 40-man roster and that is tight, especially with reliever Elniery Garcia due to come off the restricted list (for a PED violation) next week. The Phils could go with an extra arm in the bullpen and bring back Edubray Ramos, replacing the injured Kendrick, but, frankly, he looked like a guy who'd benefit from the opportunity to build some confidence at Triple A. Outfielders Nick Williams and Dylan Cozens could be in play if the front office decided to bring one of them up and give him regular playing time.