Michael Young hit the bereavement list to tend to his son, dealing with an undisclosed ailment and the Phillies turned to the one player generally regarded as most ready at AAA: Cesar Hernandez. After an impressive few days, the Phillies opted to option Michael Martinez to the minor leagues upon Young's return. Logic would have dictated that since Chase Utley would be out longer than previous thought, Hernandez would man second base. Logic has not prevailed.
Hernandez has made six starts with the Phillies: 5/30, 5/31, 6/1, 6/2, 6/3, and 6/8. He did not start on 6/4 and 6/5, and has not played since his last start, 6/8 in Milwaukee. Why not? The answer appears to be nothing other than that Phillies manager Charlie Manuel prefers to play Freddy Galvis.
How has Galvis done instead of Hernandez? Galvis is hitless in his last 17 at bats, dating back to June 5 and is hitting .207 on the season. Hernandez has batted .250 in 24 at bats so far in his young major league career. Hernandez has also provided good at bats, working counts and making productive outs. I do not think it's fair to say that Hernandez has proven a better offensive force than Galvis, but since Hernandez is the Phillies' most ready prospect, he should play.
In Freddy Galvis' young career, we have seen his ability to be a utility man. He has played shortstop, second base, and third base with nearly impeccable defense. He has also shown the ability to get a big hit now and then. But so far, regular play has not translated into regular offensive production. To make things worse, the Phillies are without a versatile utility player since Galvis is in the lineup daily.
Hernandez is a second baseman, and perhaps is the heir apparent to second base when Chase Utley could leave as a free agent after the 2013 season. Instead of playing every day preparing for the big leagues, Hernandez is spending his time sitting on a major league bench. Hernandez would be much better served playing at AAA every day than sitting here, doing nothing. His defense may not be the level of Galvis, but he is close. Why not test it while the Phillies have an opportunity?
The sad part about all of this is that this does not even have to be a matter of which Venezuelan switch-hitter Charlie Manuel prefers. There is plenty of room for both Galvis and Hernandez to play. When Galvis has been starting at second base, Michael Young gets no days off, Jimmy Rollins gets no days off, and Hernandez could take a day off now and then to play Galvis.
If Hernandez is indeed a part of the Phillies future, then they should make the commitment to play him every day until Chase Utley returns from the disabled list. If they have no intention on playing Hernandez, send him back to AAA. Even Michael Martinez was able to sit on the bench and do nothing; we do not need an actual prospect with some tools doing that.
UPDATE: Phillies have sent Hernandez to AAA. What a waste.