Amaro: Delmon 'on the right track' toward returning

Amaro: Delmon 'on the right track' toward returning

MIAMI -- Delmon Young needs to prove he can play right field before he joins the Phillies.

He is continuing to take steps toward that goal. He played seven innings in right field Thursday and Friday in extended Spring Training games in Clearwater, Fla. It is the first time he had played back-to-back games this spring.

"Delmon is not going to come here unless he can play right field," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "If he can't play right field, he ain't coming. The bat doesn't concern me nearly as much as how he's moving around and how well he's playing in the outfield. He's going to hit. I'm not that worried about that part of it. I'm more concerned about if he's going to be adequate in the outfield. So far he's been OK. We've been saying the same thing all along."

Asked how Young looked running, Amaro said, "He did OK. … He didn't get a lot of chances. He had one chance where he had to go back deep in the gap, and he made a pretty good play on it. He took a good angle on it. I was surprised."

Young is expected to begin a rehab assignment next week as he recovers from microfracture surgery on his right ankle. Once that begins, the Phillies have 20 days to activate him unless they feel he is not healthy enough to play.

"He's on the right track," Amaro said. "I think he's a lot more comfortable out there. He had to go to the line a couple of times. He hasn't had that many plays. He hasn't been challenged that much. He's only been challenged once or twice."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.