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Velasquez, Cesar on track for Miami return

Kendrick nears rehab assignment with Deadline approaching
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Vince Velasquez and Cesar Hernandez remain on schedule to rejoin the Phillies during their upcoming series in Miami, but the wait continues for Howie Kendrick.

Velasquez has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 31 because of a strained flexor in his right elbow. He made his third rehab start Thursday with Class A Advanced Clearwater, allowing one run on two hits and a walk while striking out five over five innings. He could rejoin the rotation Tuesday.

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MILWAUKEE -- Vince Velasquez and Cesar Hernandez remain on schedule to rejoin the Phillies during their upcoming series in Miami, but the wait continues for Howie Kendrick.

Velasquez has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 31 because of a strained flexor in his right elbow. He made his third rehab start Thursday with Class A Advanced Clearwater, allowing one run on two hits and a walk while striking out five over five innings. He could rejoin the rotation Tuesday.

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Hernandez has been on the DL since June 11 because of a strained left oblique. He has played in two rehab games with Clearwater.

"It's likely that he and Cesar both will be activated in Miami," Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said Friday at Miller Park.

Video: PHI@ATL: Hernandez flashes range, arm to nab Markakis

But Kendrick remains further away. He has been on the DL since June 28 because of a strained left hamstring injury and also will join the Phillies in Miami, but only to be evaluated for a potential rehab assignment.

The Phillies would love to get Kendrick on the field, especially with the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching. Kendrick is hitting .349 with eight doubles, two home runs, 14 RBIs and an .879 OPS in 33 games this season. He will be a free agent after the season, so the Phillies have incentive to move him.

Offensively, it is easy to see how a contending team could use Kendrick. Defensively, his flexibility is valuable, because he can play the infield and outfield. But this is Kendrick's second stint on the DL, having spent six weeks on the DL earlier this season with a strained right abdomen.

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

But even if trading Kendrick proves difficult, the team is expected to make moves, with reliever Pat Neshek the most likely to be traded.

"My feeling is there will be some [trades]," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "But that's all I know."

Mackanin said he told his players Friday to try to forget about the trade rumors.

"The next couple of weeks, anything could happen," he said. "You think you're getting traded, you might not. You might. Don't worry about it. Just keep playing. Play hard. See what happens."

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, Cesar Hernandez, Vince Velasquez