Indians, Phillies Scouting Kevin Youkilis

The Indians and Phillies are keeping an eye on Kevin Youkilis as he rehabs from injury, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). Crasnick goes on to tweet that while the Tribe has a need for a right-handed bat, they've yet to actually call the Red Sox to begin any negotiations.

Youkilis, 33, has appeared in 18 games for the Red Sox this season. He hit just .219/.292/.344 in those contests. The fast start of Will Middlebrooks and the long-term presence of Adrian Gonzalez have many speculating that the Red Sox may be ready to move on from Youkilis. Middlebrooks, ranked as Boston's top prospect and No. 51 in all of MLB by Baseball America this offseason, is hitting .277/.309/.565 with five homers through his first 16 games. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe noted today that the Red Sox rave about Middlebrooks' glove as well (Twitter link).

The Indians have been using Jack Hannahan and Casey Kotchman at the corner infield positions, but Kotchman has just a .620 OPS and neither has an extensive history of Major League success. The Phillies, meanwhile, have received an OPS+ of 83 from Placido Polanco at third base. They've primarily used Ty Wigginton, John Mayberry, and Laynce Nix at first this year, to mixed results. As a whole, their first basemen are batting .272/.351/.406.

Earlier today, the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo threw the Diamondbacks into the mix of teams who could be interesting in acquiring the 33-year-old.



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