Mackanin pulling for slumping Joseph

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Mackanin feels he owes Joseph — who has 12 hits, including a home run and seven RBIs, in 67 at-bats — about 100 at-bats before he makes a decision whether to keep him plugged into the lineup.

“If you want to play, you have to hit,” Mackanin said. “And at some point, I think he’s going to start hitting, and I’m going to give him every opportunity to do that, because I have a lot of confidence in him.

“But at some point, I have to do what’s best for the team. If we come to that point and I have to sit him a few days, he’s got to understand that, too.”

Joseph, who was in the No. 6 slot on Monday night against the Cubs, is coming off a season in which he batted .257 with 21 home runs and 47 RBIs in 107 games. That productivity, Mackanin said, is why the Phillies had so much hope for him entering this season, when Joseph made his first Opening Day lineup.

But since collecting three hits on April 20 in a 6-4 win over the Mets, Joseph has only two hits in his last five games. Yet as little as Joseph may say about his offensive woes, Mackanin said he has to figure out a way to work through his current slump.

“I’m pulling for him,” Mackanin said.

Jeff Arnold is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago and covered the Phillies on Monday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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