Byrd sent to Triple A
Byrd has struggled so far this season, hitting .224 with only two home runs and 18 RBIs in 58 games. Manager Larry Bowa has shuffled the former leadoff hitter around the lineup while Byrd worked on his swing.
Byrd also got off to a rough start last season before recovering to hit .303 for the year. But Bowa said Byrd's 45 strikeouts this season have forced the club to send the second-year outfielder to the minors.
"He is our center fielder. We have to get him squared away," Bowa said. "(Special assistant to the general manager) Charlie Manuel's going to work with him one-on-one and try to get his swing down to where it should be."
Byrd said he was surprised by the move, but agreed with the club's decision to get him away from the spotlight in Philadelphia.
"We have media. We have people booing you," Byrd said. "It's tough up here. And right now everybody's hitting but me. Maybe they just want me to get away from this."
Bowa lauded Byrd for trying to work out of his slump with extra batting practice, but said he simply isn't making progress.
"A lot of attention has been given to his at-bats every time he comes to the plate," Bowa said. "It's going to be a more relaxed-type atmosphere down there where nobody really cares if you go 0-for-4."
Infielder Shawn Wooten was recalled to take Byrd's spot on the roster. Wooten went 7-for-39 in 20 games before being demoted in May.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press