Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez, out since June 9 with an oblique strain, will begin a rehab assignment Wednesday night with Class A Clearwater.
Hernandez has missed just over a month with what is usually a six-week injury.
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In 58 games before the injury, Hernandez hit .277/.336/.399 with 17 extra-base hits and 40 runs scored.
Early in June, he had been working out of a slump that lasted most of May. Hernandez went just 24 for 114 (.211) from May 7 until going on the DL.
Despite the slump, the Phillies have missed Hernandez's bat in the lineup. Writing him into the leadoff spot allows Pete Mackanin to lengthen the lineup a bit by sliding down Daniel Nava and moving Aaron Altherr to more of a run-producing lineup. Altherr reached base four times out of the leadoff spot in the Phillies' final game of the first half.
With Howie Kendrick also on the DL, the Phillies at second base have been using 33-year-old Andres Blanco, who's hit .151 and struggled defensively.
Hernandez's second-half health is important because he's a trade candidate with the continued emergence of Scott Kingery. Hernandez, sources told CSN's Jim Salisbury, was a hot name in trade talks during the offseason.