Phillies

What Asdrubal Cabrera's arrival means for Scott Kingery

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What Asdrubal Cabrera's arrival means for Scott Kingery

CINCINNATI – Asbrubal Cabrera got right to work upon joining the Phillies late Saturday afternoon. He took ground balls at shortstop, practiced giving and taking feeds with second baseman Cesar Hernandez, then took his round of batting practice.

“It surprised me,” Cabrera said of the trade that sent him from the Mets to the Phillies on Friday. “I hadn’t seen anything on the Phillies. But I’m really happy to be here now and be part of the Phillies.”

Manager Gabe Kapler put Cabrera right in the lineup, batting fifth and playing shortstop. The Phils, who rank 28th in the majors with an OPS of .626 at shortstop, were looking for some more offense out of the position. Cabrera hit .277 with 23 doubles, 18 homers and a .817 OPS in 98 games for the Mets. He should bring some pop to the lineup from both sides of the plate.

Manager Gabe Kapler continues to say he will play Cabrera at second and third, as well. He added that Scott Kingery will still get time at shortstop as well as other positions. Kingery was projected for a super-utility role coming out of spring training. He took balls in the outfield during batting practice Saturday. Kapler said Kingery would likely play shortstop on Sunday. If Cabrera, a switch-hitter, produces offensively, however, it will be difficult to keep him out of the lineup and shortstop will be the most logical spot to use him as long as Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco continue to produce at second and third base, respectively.

Adding Cabrera’s bat comes with a tradeoff. He hasn’t played shortstop this season -- he was the Mets' second baseman -- and hasn’t played there regularly since 2016. His defensive play at the position had declined when he was there.

“He doesn’t have the same range that he once did but we’re also thinking of mitigating risk by putting him at shortstop at the right time,” Kapler said. “Tonight we’ve got a fly ball pitcher (Vince Velasquez) on the mound and we’re very confident he can handle the balls that are in his vicinity.”

Cabrera, 32, was unfazed about playing shortstop for the first time this season. He’d previously played more than 1,000 games there in his big-league career.

“I haven’t played short for a little while but I’m going to come here and work hard and do my best no matter what position they put me at,” he said.

Kingery, who stands to lose some playing time, had a similar attitude.

“I’m just going to show up to the field the same way I have all season and focus on what I can do to help the team,” he said. “If that means switching back and forth or I go back into a utility role, I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I’m just going to show up and do what I do every day.”

To make room for Cabrera on the roster, the Phillies sent utility man Jesmuel Valentin to Triple A.

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Phillies schedule: Phils-Braves postponed because of inclement weather, doubleheader Sunday

Phillies schedule: Phils-Braves postponed because of inclement weather, doubleheader Sunday

Friday night's series opener between the Phillies and Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park has been rained out.

It was a "quick bang" as they say in the baseball business, no waiting around for the bad weather to clear out. That's part of the health and safety protocol for the COVID-impacted 2020 season. Major League Baseball does not want players and staff sitting around for long periods of time in enclosed areas like a clubhouse.

The postponement will be made up as part of a doubleheader Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Game 2 begins 40 minutes after Game 1 ends. The Phillies have 53 games remaining on their schedule and six of them will be played as part of doubleheaders. They already played a doubleheader Wednesday night, splitting with the New York Yankees.

Jake Arrieta will start for the Phillies Saturday against the Braves. Vince Velasquez will start one of the games of the doubleheader Sunday. The starter for the other game is still TBA. The Phils could promote prospect Spencer Howard to make the start. More on that as it becomes available.

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Phillies Talk podcast: Massive early-season Phillies-Braves series on tap

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Phillies Talk podcast: Massive early-season Phillies-Braves series on tap

The Phillies will play 40% of their games against the Braves over the next four days, making this a massive early-season NL East series.

Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman discuss that and more on the latest Phillies Talk podcast.

• How do Phils and Braves match up in 2020?

• How often can the Phillies' bullpen do what it did in series finale vs. Yankees?

• They're lucky to have Hector Neris.

• Starting pitching has been good so far — particularly Zack Wheeler.

• Phillies quietly Top 6 in on-base percentage and slugging.

• Phillies bound for regression one way or the other.

• Yankees complaints.

• J.T. owes the fans a pizza.

• Will we hear the air horn every game now?

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