PHILADELPHIA -- Forty-year-old Bobby Abreu made his return to the lineup Friday after a brief respite, starting in the outfield for the fourth time in six games. Abreu started in three consecutive games earlier this week, collecting five hits and a walk.
More and more, that playing time is coming at the expense of Chris Young, who has slumped all season despite a two-run homer Thursday. Manager Terry Collins said the decision to bench Young the day after his homer was "tough," but noted that Abreu had earned the playing time.
"It's very tough," Collins said, referencing Phillies starting pitcher A.J. Burnett. "This guy's really tough against right-handed hitting. His breaking ball is really, really good, along with some other stuff."
Young's homer Thursday was his fourth of the season, improving his overall slash line to .205/.290/.368. Only 35 players in baseball have accumulated as many plate appearances as Young with an on-base percentage of .290 or lower.