PHOENIX -- Ty Wigginton started at third base Tuesday against the D-backs at Chase Field, putting Placido Polanco on the bench for the third time in seven games.
There are a few reasons for that:
First, Wigginton led the team with a .378 on-base percentage entering Tuesday. He was second with a .436 slugging percentage.
Second and third, Polanco was hitting .200 and the Phillies said they are trying to monitor his playing time because of his injury history.
"We're trying to get him going good," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Polanco. "But I try to monitor his time a little bit. Tonight, I like Ty at third because he hits good in this yard. Polly has better numbers on the guy tomorrow [Arizona right-hander Trevor Cahill]. I didn't plan on Polly playing the whole series. That was my thinking."
After MRI on shoulder, Pence put into lineup
PHOENIX -- The Phillies e-mailed a news release early Tuesday saying Hunter Pence had a precautionary MRI scheduled for his left shoulder.
A few hours later, Charlie Manuel penciled him into the lineup.
"They honestly did not expect me to be this good today," Pence said before Tuesday night's game against the D-backs at Chase Field. "I typically heal really fast. I don't know what it is, but I just do. ... I'm able to move it and I'm able to play, and there's no danger."
Pence injured the shoulder diving for a baseball in the third inning in Sunday's loss to the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. He could not raise his arm Monday, forcing him to miss his first game of the season. The Phillies scheduled the MRI for Tuesday morning. Results showed Pence has a bruised left rotator cuff.
There is no structural damage.
Pence said he woke up Tuesday morning feeling much better, which he credited to head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan and his staff. Pence took the MRI and later arrived at Chase Field. There he told the Phillies he thought he could play. He took some swings in the cage with hitting coach Greg Gross and Sheridan watching. They determined he could.
"When I started swinging, I'm letting it eat," Pence said. "I'm ready to go."
"That's good," Manuel said. "Then I hope it eats a lot then."
Perhaps the forced night off allowed Pence to clear his head. He was hitless in his last 15 at-bats entering Tuesday night's game, but he belted a two-run homer in the fourth inning.
"You just take the day with whatever it gives you," Pence said. "I was just trying to do everything I could to be a good teammate. We didn't have the greatest start [in Monday's 9-5 loss], but I liked the way we finished.
"We've been knocked down right now, but what you find out is what you do once you get knocked down. This team, we've got to keep getting back up. It's early, but it's something to not be taken lightly. So I'm glad to be back in the lineup, but I was also glad to see the guys play the way they did at the end."
Phillies place righty Stutes on 15-day DL
PHOENIX -- The Phillies placed right-hander Mike Stutes on the 15-day disabled list because of inflammation in his right shoulder after Tuesday's 8-5 win over the D-backs.
The Phillies recalled right-hander Michael Schwimer from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take his place.
Stutes last pitched Saturday in San Diego.
"We want to get Stutesy well," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "That's the whole thing. If he's got a problem, we want to get him well. That's how he's going to help us -- being healthy and well and 100 percent when we pitch him."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.