Cesar Hernandez returns to lineup; expects to be ready by Opening Day

Cesar Hernandez back in the Phillies' lineup
Cesar Hernandez was in the Phillies' starting lineup on Thursday, marking his return from a 17-day absence after dealing with a strained hip flexor. He collected a single on the afternoon in three plate appearances.

He expects to be ready for Opening Day.

“Oh yeah, for sure,” Hernandez told MLB.com. “I feel great, happy to get back. My finger, my leg is good, so that’s definitely good. I was a little bit lost at the plate. I am trying to get my timing back. I need a couple more games to get to that point.”

Hernandez remains the favorite to bat in the leadoff position when the season opens in less than two weeks. He's not much of a base-stealing threat, but he puts the ball in play and allows for Andrew McCutchen to likely bat in the No. 6 spot, meaning the offense can potentially extend innings and produce more runs.

"I want to score 100-plus runs,” Hernandez said Thursday. His career high was 91.

The next Phillie set to return to the lineup is Odubel Hererra who has missed nearly three weeks with a strained hamstring. He's expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday as a DH and will likely see action in the field early next week.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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