Pirates send IF Hernandez across state to Phillies

Updated: August 22, 2006, 7:11 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The Philadelphia Phillies traded for utility infielder Jose Hernandez Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates cash in the deal.

Jose Hernandez
Hernandez

With Aaron Rowand likely out for the season with a broken left ankle, the Phillies wanted to acquire another right-handed hitter. The 37-year-old Hernandez was flying to Chicago from Atlanta and would be available Wednesday, assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

"He's a veteran right-handed bat who can drive the ball out of the ballpark," Amaro said. "He can play a variety of positions. We are pretty pleased at this time to get a guy of this caliber."

Hernandez hit .267 with two homers and 12 RBI in 67 games with the Pirates. He made 10 starts at first base and six at shortstop while also starting at second base, third base and right field. The Phillies expect Hernandez to fill a back-up role.

"He's more or less going to be a guy who will give us some protection and some pinch-hitting with some power," Amaro said.

Just 2 games behind Cincinnati in the NL wild card race, going into Tuesday's game, the Phillies might not be done making moves, Amaro said.

"We're going to continue to look at what's available," he said. "We're in a variety of discussions with a couple of different teams. So we'll see if we can get something else done."

The Phillies also recalled infielder Joe Thurston and outfielder Michael Bourn from Triple-A to fill two available roster spots.

Rowand officially went on the 15-day DL Tuesday after colliding with second baseman Chase Utley in the eighth inning of Monday's game, a 6-5 Phillies victory.

Closer Tom Gordon went on the 15-day DL after Monday's game, retroactive to Aug. 13.

Bourn made his major league debut on July 30, getting one at-bat against the Marlins. Thurston last appeared in the majors in 2004 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has played 37 games over parts of three seasons.

The Pirates planned to replace Hernandez on their active roster before Wednesday night's game. The trade left the team one man short for Tuesday night's game against the Atlanta Braves.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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