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April 18, 2017

Howie Kendrick (abdominal strain) joins Buchholz on the DL

NEW YORK – Howie Kendrick was out of the Phillies lineup for the second straight game when Pete Mackanin wrote out his lineup on Tuesday and the manager allowed that there was at least the possibility the “tender” outfielder would have to be placed on the disabled list.

“The 10-day DL makes it easier,” Mackanin said of the new DL, which replaced the old 15-day timeline.

About two hours later, an hour before the game at Citi Field against the Mets, the Phillies made their decision. Kendrick was placed on the 10-day DL with a right abdominal strain, retroactive to April 16. He will be eligible to return to the lineup next Wednesday (April 26).

The Phillies have called up right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. to replace Kendrick on the 25-man roster. It's unclear if they'll add another position player in the coming days. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Kendrick said he first felt pain in his “upper abdomen, lower rib cage” region while warming up prior to Saturday’s game. And then he felt it again while throwing a ball during the game at Nationals Park.

“I was like, ‘this is kind of strange,’” Kendrick said of the coincidence. “It hasn’t gotten any worse in the past couple of days, hopefully it’s something that will get done with pretty quickly. … Hopefully, that says it’s not a major issue.”

But Kendrick acknowledged, like Mackanin, that the DL was a possibility. He hadn’t played since Saturday and knew the logistics of the new DL.

“Given this point, it’s already been three days,” Kendrick said. “But at the same time, I want to find out what’s going on. For the most part, I just want to find out what’s going on and get back on the field.”

Kendrick said he had taken some swings in the cage and felt OK, but added that it’s not exactly the same as the cuts he’d take off live pitching in a major league game.

Kendrick hadn’t had any tests as of Tuesday afternoon, but said he believed he’ll have an MRI “by the end of the week.” He was also fairly certain the injury is not an oblique injury which is good news for the Phillies, since such injuries can often take more than a month to recover from.

“I’ve done my oblique before and I can feel that in everything I do,” he said.

The 33-year-old Kendrick is hitting .333 with four doubles, one triple, and a .395 through 10 games this season. The veteran right-handed hitter was acquired in a November trade that sent Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Phillies placed another veteran, right-handed pitcher Clay Buchholz, on the 10-day DL. Buchholz is likely to miss the rest of the 2017 season after undergoing elbow surgery.

Daniel Nava (1-for-3, 2 walks on Sunday) started in Kendrick's place on Tuesday night at Citi Field against the Mets. 

"He's swinging the bat as well as anybody, he gives you real good at-bats," Mackanin said. "(Aaron) Altherr has shown some better at-bats with his change of approach. He'll be getting more playing time as we go, I'm just trying to sneak everyone in when we can."

If the Phillies add another hitter to the roster while Kendrick is sidelined, Roman Quinn would be the favorite to be recalled from Triple-A. Mackanin could platoon Altherr with Quinn until Kendrick returns to active duty. 

Kendrick, who is making $10 million in 2017, is a free agent after the season, just like Buchholz. 

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @ryanlawrence21

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