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Eickhoff, Kendrick not quite ready to return

Righty is on DL with strained back, 2B/OF needs more time with tight hamstring
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHOENIX -- Jerad Eickhoff is not quite ready to rejoin the Phillies' rotation. Howie Kendrick is not quite ready to rejoin the lineup, either.

The Phillies said Monday afternoon at Chase Field that Mark Leiter will pitch Wednesday in Seattle. Eickhoff is on the 10-day disabled list with a strained upper back, although he has been throwing recently without any discomfort. Eickhoff thought he had a chance to pitch Wednesday, but now he might not pitch until July 4 against the Pirates at Citizens Bank Park.

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PHOENIX -- Jerad Eickhoff is not quite ready to rejoin the Phillies' rotation. Howie Kendrick is not quite ready to rejoin the lineup, either.

The Phillies said Monday afternoon at Chase Field that Mark Leiter will pitch Wednesday in Seattle. Eickhoff is on the 10-day disabled list with a strained upper back, although he has been throwing recently without any discomfort. Eickhoff thought he had a chance to pitch Wednesday, but now he might not pitch until July 4 against the Pirates at Citizens Bank Park.

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"They want to err on the side of caution," Eickhoff said.

Eickhoff said the Phillies want to give his back a little more time to heal. Essentially, there is no reason to rush him back if it could jeopardize his ability to finish the season healthy.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Eickhoff could make a rehab start, or he could remain with the team and just throw an extended bullpen session before he rejoins the rotation.

Video: PHI@ARI: Kendrick cracks game-tying single to right

Kendrick has not started since Wednesday because of tightness in his left hamstring. He pinch-hit Friday and Sunday and there is a chance he could be the Phillies' designated hitter Tuesday and Wednesday in Seattle. But every time Kendrick appears in a game it pushes back his timeline to return from the DL, if the Phillies ultimately place him on it.

"It hasn't gotten any better, but it hasn't gotten any worse either," Kendrick said. "It's kind of at a standstill right now, so I don't really know what's going on. It just kind of stinks because I can still function, I can still hit and do all the stuff, but as far as getting up to top speed, it's just restricting me a bit. I can still run and stuff, but I can't explode the way I would like to."

Kendrick is more concerned about further injuring himself by playing in the field than he is about hitting. 

"The trouble with defense is you're exploding with every play, especially up the middle," he said. "I just don't feel as comfortable exploding off it every time. As far as hitting and pinch-hitting goes you can govern that a little more when you run." 

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Jerad Eickhoff