Phillies Notebook: Delmon Young’s Debut in Right Field a Quiet One
PHILADELPHIA—Delmon Young wasn’t intimidated.
But if his debut in right field for the Phillies just so happened to be a quiet one, he’d be OK with that.
“I think new place, playing different positions out there, you always want the first one to you to be kind of easy,” he said after his team’s 7-2 win over the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park tonight. “Either a slow roller or a nice high pop fly, just so you can get the depth perception (down).”
Young's role in the field tonight was his first in red pinstripes. It also made for two other milestones: his first time as a defender since microscopic ankle surgery last November, and first time in right field since 2007.
Uncertainty about how it would go loomed.
Young got his wish. Almost exactly.
Twenty-nine Marlins stepped to the dish tonight. Sixteen put balls in play. Ten put them in the air.
Only twice did a baseball find Young.
Both were of the variety he preferred.
He bent to scoop a dribbling Placido Planco single in the third inning. Later in the sixth, he took a few shuffles as a Rob Brantly pop-up slowly climbed and calmly fell. Come the seventh, with Miami dipping into their right-handed-heavy bullpen, it was time for Laynce Nix to tap Young out.
Young said the dimming lighting from the setting sun opposite him just over the left field wall was a fun wrinkle. He also said the pulse of the Philadelphia fan base added to the stakes.
“It was interesting out there, that’s for sure,” Young said.
Still, the news wire on Young was quiet on Wednesday, just the way the Phillies need it.
“He looks fine,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “I think he looked good. I think he’s going to help us.”
He didn’t have to tonight. But he will.
After four games with the Marlins come seven on the west coast in San Francisco and Arizona. The Giants rank sixth in baseball with a 21.7% line drive rate. The Diamondbacks, ninth (21.0%).
Young will be tested, for sure.
He opened his 2013 season with two busy nights at the plate, sticking back-to-back multi-hit nights in Cleveland, where he was the only Phillie to do so in both games. He went 0 for 3 tonight.
But maybe more importantly, he didn’t add to his team’s third column or the other team’s first.
“We’re five games out of first and we’re trying get back within (reach) pretty quick, so we’re trying to make sure everything goes well out there,” Young said.
“You don’t want to be the reason why you had another L up there.”