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Herrera's sore shoulder not concerning club

Outfielder has played in just one spring game, but Kapler has 'zero concern'
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

TAMPA, Fla. -- Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said last week that outfielder Odubel Herrera is presenting beautifully, but Herrera's right shoulder has not felt particularly pretty early in camp.

Herrera said Monday afternoon at Spectrum Field in Clearwater that he has some soreness in the shoulder, which is why he has played in only one of the Phillies' first four Grapefruit League games. He served as the designated hitter Sunday.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said last week that outfielder Odubel Herrera is presenting beautifully, but Herrera's right shoulder has not felt particularly pretty early in camp.

Herrera said Monday afternoon at Spectrum Field in Clearwater that he has some soreness in the shoulder, which is why he has played in only one of the Phillies' first four Grapefruit League games. He served as the designated hitter Sunday.

Phillies' Spring Training information

"It's sore, yeah," Herrera said. "But now it's better. It's getting better every day."

Kapler said before Monday night's game against the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field that he is not concerned.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"[He's] healthy, but wanting to work his arm into baseball shape," he said.

Kapler described Herrera's issue as "natural muscle soreness" occurring from Herrera's throwing program. Herrera said he has been throwing recently, and just Monday was throwing to the bases from center field. He said he hopes to play in the field soon.

"Let's put it like this, zero concern," Kapler said. "Nobody is concerned. Our medical [staff] is not concerned, Odubel is not concerned, our staff is not concerned. We're all good."

Video: NYM@PHI: Herrera doubles home Crawford in the 8th

Asked if Herrera is in shape, Kapler said, "I think he looks strong and athletic."

Video: PHI@NYY: Kapler, Kingery on Kingery's performance

Scotty Jetpax hits clutch homer

Scott Kingery hit a tying opposite-field home run with two strikes and two outs in the top of the ninth inning in an eventual 4-3 loss to the Yankees on Monday night. Kingery, who is the No. 35 prospect in baseball, went 3-for-3.

"That was probably the best at-bat we've had all spring," Kapler said.

Video: PHI@NYY: Lively on how he feels after spring debut

Roster battles

Phillies right-hander Ben Lively made his Grapefruit League debut. He allowed one hit in two scoreless innings against the Yankees. He struck out three, including Giancarlo Stanton swinging to end the first. Lively is battling to be the team's No. 5 starter. He is competing with Zach Eflin, Jake Thompson, Mark Leiter and Tom Eshelman.

"Everybody knows there's a competition," Lively said. "It's fun seeing everyone battle and compete. It's awesome. It makes everybody better."

Eshelman followed Lively, striking out two in two perfect innings. He recorded three groundball outs in the third and struck out Stanton swinging in the fourth. This is Eshelman's first big league camp.

"You watch a guy like that on TV all the time," Eshelman said of Stanton. "Then he steps into the box, and it's kind of surreal."

Rhys is leading off?

Repeat: Nobody should read anything into Spring Training lineups.

Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins hit first against the Yankees on Monday. He hit a leadoff single in the first. But while Kapler acknowledged that Hoskins profiles as a leadoff hitter because he sees a lot of pitches and reaches base with regularity, Hoskins is more likely to hit second or fourth this season.

Video: Rhys Hoskins reflects on 2017, looks forward to 2018

"Those are two locations that he and I have had conversations about," said Kapler, who added that his leadoff hitter doesn't have to hit and run like Willie Wilson.

Kapler sees those two spots as the most critical in the lineup. He said he has found that those two spots come with a bunch of runners on base.

"There's a lot of nuance there, and there's a lot of flow to the lineup," Kapler said. "It might be a very, very marginal difference, but it's still worth looking at deeply."

Extra bases

Cesar Hernandez will be the second baseman on Opening Day, but he started at shortstop Monday. Kapler continues to stress "positional flexibility" with his players. Simply, he wants Hernandez to be comfortable at shortstop should he need to play there at any point this season.

Francisco Rodriguez allowed one unearned run in one inning. His fastball sat in the 88-89 mph range.

Jesmuel Valentin, who is playing all over the field this spring, crashed into the left-field wall to make an over-the-shoulder catch in the sixth. Valentin has spent the majority of his career at second base and shortstop.

• Left-hander Hoby Milner faced three right-handers in the sixth, striking out Stanton.

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, Odubel Herrera