Phillies: Howie Kendrick to begin rehab assignment Wednesday

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May 23, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Brock Stassi (L) and left fielder Howie Kendrick (M) and right fielder Michael Saunders (R) during batting practice before action against the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Brock Stassi (L) and left fielder Howie Kendrick (M) and right fielder Michael Saunders (R) during batting practice before action against the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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After missing more than a month with an oblique injury Phillies outfielder Howie Kendrick is ready to begin a rehab assignment.

Another Phillies player is nearing a return from the disabled list as Howie Kendrick will start a rehab assignment Wednesday night with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The news was reported by Corey Seidman of CSN Philly.

Kendrick will bat third and play left field for the IronPigs in Wednesday’s game. Manager Pete Mackanin told reporters that Kendrick will play at least four games and will see time in left field as well as at first and third base.

Kendrick lasted just ten games into the season before straining his oblique on a diving catch. In those ten games, Kendrick had a .333/.395/.487 line with a 133 OPS+ along with four doubles and a triple.

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Kendrick took outdoor batting practice for the first time before Tuesday’s game against the Rockies. Prior to that, he had done defensive work on the team’s recent road trip. The batting practice must have gone very well if Kendrick is going to make a rehab appearance just a day later.

In Kendrick’s absence, Aaron Altherr has gotten most of the playing time.

He has taken advantage, hitting for a .320/.407/.621 line with seven home runs and 23 RBI since Kendrick has gone on the disabled list.

Whenever Kendrick does return, Mackanin is unlikely to take Altherr out of the lineup. That means Kendrick could take the spot of the struggling Michael Saunders, who was benched against the Rockies Tuesday night.

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Kendrick could also fill in at third base for Maikel Franco, who was also benched. Mackanin has criticized both Franco and Saunders for their struggles at the plate.

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