That brief shining moment when the Phillies had all their position regulars and starting pitchers healthy is fading further into memory. Five days after ace Cliff Lee hit the disabled list with an elbow injury, the Phillies sent third baseman Cody Asche to the DL with a strained left hamstring. The team summoned right-handed reliever Justin DeFratus to fill Asche's spot on the active roster.
At least for now, this likely means Cesar Hernandez will make the bulk of the starts at third base--a position he'd never played until earlier this spring. When the Phils sent Hernandez back to the minors in April, it was to learn the hot corner in hopes of increasing his versatility with Chase Utley entrenched at second base. At Reading, Hernandez made eight errors with an ugly .843 fielding percentage playing third. Hernandez made his third straight start at third against the Dodgers on Sunday. For the time being, at least, top prospect Maikel Franco will remain at triple-A.
DeFratus returns to the majors looking to improve on the 7.20 ERA he put up before his demotion. While at Lehigh Valley, he pitched to a 4.50 ERA through 16 innings.