PHILADELPHIA -- Cesar Hernandez led off Saturday, starting in center field. When Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg was asked if Hernandez would be coming to Spring Training next year as a second baseman or a center fielder, he responded: "Yes."
"He's both," Sanderg said. "He's been a regular second baseman, and now he's getting Major League experience in center, and he's handled it fine. He's an interesting player, with his talent."
Hernandez is batting .365 over his last 15 games. Of his 20 starts with the Phillies, 13 have been in center and seven have been at second base. He batted .309 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, playing primarily second base but moving to the outfield as the Phillies signed Chase Utley to a contract extension and decided to experiment with Hernandez's speed and range in center.
"One of his strengths is that he's a plus-bat," Sandberg said. "He has an ability to hit a fastball and adjust to other pitches. There's been games he's played here, facing pitchers he hasn't seen before, and he makes adjustments as the game goes on. We've seen his ability to hit the fastball, but I've seen him geared for the fastball and adjust to something else and still put the bat on the ball. He adjusts to what he sees.
"His bat plays, right now, on a regular basis."
After shutdown, Kendrick considers career options
PHILADELPHIA -- Kyle Kendrick's season is over. Now he can start thinking about his future, and whether it will be with the Phillies.
Kendrick, 10-13 with a 4.70 ERA this season, returned to Philadelphia on Friday after an examination in New York with Mets team physician David Altchek. Altchek's opinion on Kendrick's right shoulder confirmed tendinitis in the rotator cuff and tightness in his shoulder capsule. According to Kendrick, doctors told him he could put his shoulder at risk if he tried to pitch through it.
"I'm trying to be smart about it for my career," Kendrick said. "It might be different if we were in a different position as far as the team. I'd probably try to make these last two starts."
But this year, the Phillies are out of it, and Kendrick is eligible for salary arbitration -- Kendrick made $4.5 million this year and would be owed a raise next season. The Phillies could also non-tender him and try to re-sign him for less. Or Kendrick may have pitched his last game as a Philly.
"Every year, it's the same, it feels like," Kendrick said. "Every year, I've heard I might get traded, or non-tendered, or whatever, and it's the same this year. I know what the options are. Hopefully, I'll be here, but that's obviously up to them. "I've been -- knock on wood -- pretty durable for them, and I hope they notice that. The second half hasn't been as good as I'd wanted, but my numbers are my numbers."
Kendrick is 2-7 with a 6.91 ERA in his last 11 starts. He was 8-6 with a 3.86 ERA in the season's first half, and while Kendrick said he's been dealing with shoulder soreness for the last five weeks, he added that his injury was not the cause of his struggles.
"The worst I felt was against the Braves [on Sept. 7], and I thought I pitched pretty good," said Kendrick, who gave up three runs in six innings and struck out eight in the Phils' 6-5 win. "I was pretty achy. I haven't been 100 percent, but this time of year, who is? I don't think it's an issue; it's not something that is going to be an issue later in my career if I take care of it now."
Kevin Roberts is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.