PHILADELPHIA -- David Dellucci sees the signs. It's that time of year. For Dellucci, who landed in the role of fourth outfielder when he was traded to the Phillies from Texas, is one of many Phils who could be shipped out by Monday's non-waiver trade deadline. "I saw some scouts in [batting practice] the other day, and they were writing things when I was swinging," Dellucci said. "So if that's not a sign, I don't know what is."More
Lately, the scouts haven't had to watch Dellucci in batting practice. They can watch the real thing. Dellucci has been in the starting lineup for the last three days and four out of the last five, taking the place of Pat Burrell in left field. However, manager Charlie Manuel insists that he's not putting trade bait in the spotlight. "I'm not showcasing Dellucci," Manuel said. "We've got [Marlins left-hander Dontrelle Willis] going [on Saturday], and [Burrell] will be in there." Each of the last three opposing pitchers have been right-handed, and the left-handed-hitting Dellucci is batting .331 against righties, while Burrell, a righty, is hitting just .233. Dellucci has been upset with his lack of playing time, and he appreciates regaining his old role -- if only temporarily -- as a starter. He hit just .150 in April, when he was used sparingly, but has hit .352 since with 18 runs, nine doubles, three triples, seven homers and 20 RBIs in 108 at-bats. "It's nice to string a couple of games together and get consistent at-bats," Dellucci said. "I'm going to try and do my best to take advantage of it." As for next week, it's anybody's guess. "I think about it all the time," Dellucci said of the trade deadline. "This trade deadline has the potential to affect a lot of people in this clubhouse. We all know that. If you're not a guy that's on the move, it's going to affect you just as much because of the new guys who are coming in or the guys who are leaving. This is a tough time of the year for everybody." Dellucci has been on five teams in his Major League career and has been traded twice, so he knows what it's like. He also knows that if one starts developing expectations, they probably won't come true. "I think everybody tries to play general manager over the last week or so, and it's fun to do that," Dellucci said. "One thing I've learned is that whatever you think might happen doesn't necessarily happen. That's why we swing the bats and throw the balls, and not make the decisions." Leading off: Jimmy Rollins was inactive for a second straight day with a hamstring injury, leaving Manuel with another decision as to whom to place in the leadoff spot. He went for the second straight day with Dellucci, who batted leadoff for the Rangers last season. "He did it before," Manuel said. "And also, he runs pretty good." But Dellucci admits that he is not the prototypical leadoff hitter who works deep into counts and looks to draw walks. "If there's a strike, I'm swinging, he said. "I'm selective, but I'm not your typical leadoff guy. If he throws the first one right over the middle, I'm going to swing at it. My philosophy is you go up there looking for your pitch and you don't pass it up, whether it's the first pitch of the game or five pitches into your [at-bat]." Rollins is not expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday against Willis, but could be back for one game of Sunday's doubleheader. Quotable: "I'm the manager. I write the lineup down. As long as I'm the manager that's one thing I can do. I can write the lineup down." -- Manuel, when asked he had any input from elsewhere in the organization in making the lineup Let's play five: History provided a good omen for the Phillies heading into their five-game set against the Marlins. The last time the Phillies played a five-game series, it was also against the Fish and also at home. The Phillies won all five games from June 28-July 1, 2001, including a doubleheader sweep the first day. Up next: The Phillies host the Marlins and Willis in the second game of a five-game series on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Willis enters with a hard-luck 6-7 record and a 3.97 ERA, while Phils rookie Cole Hamels fills out the lefty matchup, bring his 2-5 record and 5.98 ERA to the mound.
Zachary Levine is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less