SAN DIEGO - Delmon Young had one extra-base hit in the previous 19 days.
He was hitting .222 after 2 months on the Phillies' roster. Young's .278 on-base percentage ranked 124th out of the 145 National League players with at least 125 plate appearances this season.
But Young started in rightfield and in the sixth spot of Charlie Manuel's batting order when the Phillies wrapped up a three-game series at Petco Park last night.
"I think that he has to get going," Manuel said of Young. "I don't know if it's today or tomorrow or 2 weeks from now or a week or what. Hopefully we can get him going."
Sure enough, Young delivered in last night's game against the Padres, doubling in the second inning and belting a game-tying, two-run homer in the eighth.
The Phillies made a small investment in the 27-year-old Young this winter. Young, a former first overall pick who won ALCS MVP honors last fall, signed an incentive-laden, 1-year, $750,000 contract in January.
Regardless of the small financial stake, the so-called low-risk, high-reward deal had not netted anything positive in the form of offensive production prior to last night. Young, a defensive liability who is routinely taken out of games late for a replacement, entered last night's game with 12 extra-base hits in 45 games.
Even after last night's performance, Young has nearly twice as many strikeouts (37) as he had RBI (19) since being activated off the DL and making his Phillies' debut on April 30.
"He's going to get his swing back," Manuel said before the game. "We definitely needed offense when we called him up and he might have needed more at-bats to get going, but, what, he's 27 years old? He's going to get his swing back. When, I don't know.
"But I think we still have to look at him. I got to think he's definitely a much better hitter than we've seen so far. He just doesn't have his timing, he doesn't have his good swing."
Young has started 16 of the 24 games the Phillies have played in June. Manuel has begun to work fellow righthanded-hitting outfielder John Mayberry Jr. into a mix with Young and centerfielder Ben Revere, using the three for two positions.
Outside of that current setup, the manager's options are somewhat limited. Manuel did admit to keeping tabs recently on Triple A outfielder Darin Ruf, however.
The 26-year-old Ruf entered last night hitting .266 with seven home runs and a .344 on-base percentage in 71 games with the IronPigs. Ruf was hitting .364 with seven RBI in his last 10 games.
If the Phils consider promoting Ruf, a first baseman-turned-leftfielder, they'd have to shift Domonic Brown back to rightfield.
"I hate to start talking about that until we get there," Manuel said of whether a defensive shift could affect Brown's bat. "That's not sending a good message. That's not the right thing to talk about."
The Phils could make a decision on Young in the next 3 weeks. He receives a $100,000 bonus each time he spends 40 days on the roster. His 80th day arrives on July 18.
Franco, Biddle picked
Two of the Phillies' top two prospects were among the 50 players selected to play in the 15th annual All-Star Futures Game next month. Rising third-base prospect Maikel Franco and former first-rounder Jesse Biddle, both with Double A Reading, will play in the game on the Sunday before the All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York. The game, which will air on ESPN2, begins at 2 p.m. on July 14.
The 21-year-old Biddle, a graduate of Germantown Friends, is 3-7 with a 3.21 ERA in 15 starts in his first season at Reading. The lefthanded Biddle has an Eastern League-leading 91 strikeouts in 81 1/3 innings.
Franco, 20, was tied for the Florida State League lead with 16 home runs at the time of his promotion from Class A Clearwater to Reading last week. And he didn't slow down upon joining his new team, hitting two home runs in his first five games.
Franco, a righthanded hitter, is hitting .316 with a .967 OPS, 18 home runs, 24 doubles and 57 RBI in 70 games between Clearwater and Reading.
"We decided after 2 1/2 months he was ready for the challenge," Joe Jordan, the Phillies' director of player development, said at the time of Franco's promotion. " tremendous progress in all areas."
Roy Halladay is scheduled to meet with Dr. Neal ElAttrache today in Los Angeles for a follow-up exam. ElAttrache performed Halladay's arthroscopic shoulder surgery last month. Halladay has begun playing catch in the last 2 weeks and likely will progress into a long-toss program shortly . . . Jonathan Pettibone will pitch opposite former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke when the Phils begin a four-game series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles tonight. Pettibone has a 5.68 ERA in his last five starts. He has 12 strikeouts and 10 walks in 25 1/3 innings during that stretch . . . The Phillies will get their first look at Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig tonight. The 22-year-old Puig entered yesterday hitting .420 with seven home runs in his first 21 major league games. Puig, a Cuban export who signed a 7-year, $42 million deal with the Dodgers last year, is the first player in baseball history to record 34 hits and seven home runs in his first 20 games.