Schierholtz patrolling center field a welcome first

Schierholtz patrolling center field a welcome first

PHILADELPHIA -- In order to evaluate some of his players heading into 2013, Charlie Manuel is using the last part of this season to "look at what guys can do."

One of those players is Nate Schierholtz, the outfielder the Phillies received from the Giants as part of the Hunter Pence deal. On Friday night against the Cardinals, Schierholtz started in center field for the first time in his career.

Schierholtz, who has played 350 career games in right field and eight in left, said he felt comfortable manning the middle of the outfield.

"I think if you can play outfield, you can play most any position," said Schierholtz, who is hitting .280 with a home run and two RBIs since joining Philadelphia on Aug. 1.

Schierholtz, a strong defensive right fielder, took fly balls in center field last week. He said the hardest part of adjusting will likely be figuring out where to position himself for certain hitters and getting good reads off the bat.

Domonic Brown, who had started eight straight games in left field, was in right field on Friday. Manuel has said he might try Brown in all three outfield positions. Veteran Juan Pierre started in left field on Friday.

"I think [Schierholtz] can hold his own," Manuel said. "I wouldn't put him out there if I didn't think he could hold his own."

"The more positions you play, the better," Schierholtz said. "I'm looking forward to it."