“The Philadelphia Phillies have signed free-agent outfielder Delmon Young to a one-year deal with incentives.”
That was the headline that almost every Philadelphia news outlet was running when the Phillies acquired Young via free agency last month.
According to Howard Eskin of FOX 29 TV and 94WIP Radio, Young did not participate in any batting or fielding drills on Friday. Eskin also mentioned that Young could ‘likely’ start the season on the disabled list.
In a matter of weeks, the Phillies went from signing a twenty-seven-year old, right-handed corner outfielder, who would likely be their starting right fielder, to hoping that Young will be healthy and ready to start the season on time.
On Friday, however, Eskin did release a picture of Young via Twitter that shows him looking to be ‘in-shape’. This is significant due to the fact that Young has incentive clauses built into his contract that he can receive if he passes six different weigh-ins throughout the season.
Young is coming off of a 2012 season where he hit .267 with 27 doubles, 18 home runs, and drove in 74 runners for a Detroit Tigers team that finished as the runner-up in the Fall Classic.
He could likely fill the fifth spot in the Phillies lineup, when healthy. Not only does Young’s injury take a bat out of the lineup, it also sets him back while trying to fit it with his new teammates.
If the Phillies are going to make it back to the post-season in 2013, then they will need as much offense as possible, especially if they are looking to compete in the tough National League East.