NEW YORK -- The Phillies planned to play Nate Schierholtz fairly regularly when they acquired him from San Francisco on July 31.
But that plan was scrapped last month, when Schierholtz missed a couple weeks in August because of a broken right big toe. He has started just three games since returning from the disabled list Sept. 1, and has hit .159 (3-for-19) with one double and two RBIs in limited action.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said when Schierholtz broke his toe, Juan Pierre got an opportunity to play. And because the team won, Manuel found it difficult to reinsert Schierholtz into the lineup. Then figure the Phillies expect Domonic Brown to be an everyday player next season and streaky John Mayberry Jr. finally got into a groove, and Schierholtz has been limited to pinch-hitting and playing as a late-inning defensive replacement.
Manuel, however, said he still can see Schierholtz in his outfield rotation in 2013.
"He shows he can hit some," Manuel said of Schierholtz. "How much? He's never really been given a chance. I think with our outfield, more than likely we're going to do some things and it's going to affect some of the outfielders we have."
The Phillies are expected to pursue an everyday outfielder, possibly via free agency (i.e., B.J. Upton or Michael Bourn). If Brown takes one of the two corner outfield spots, that would leave Mayberry, Schierholtz and Nix as the remaining outfielders on the roster. Of course, that does not include the possibility the Phillies re-sign Pierre, who will be a free agent.
If that happens, somebody else from that group (Schierholtz, Mayberry or Nix) will have to go, unless the Phillies plan to carry six outfielders on the roster.