Phillips to New York Mets

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 27, 2008

NEW YORK

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Andy Phillips arrived at Yankee Stadium dressed in his New York Mets gear, just happy to have his bats and gloves with him again.

That’s what kind of week it’s been for the backup infielder.

Phillips was designated for assignment by the Cincinnati Reds before their game against the New York Yankees on Sunday. The Mets claimed him on Wednesday and he joined the team before its two-stadium doubleheader against the Yankees on Friday.

“What are the chances? I’m with a National League team, you get sent out at Yankee Stadium and then you get picked up by another National League team coming back to Yankee Stadium,” Phillips said. “It’s just the craziness of the game.”

Phillips was drafted by the Yankees in 1999 and spent parts of the 2004-07 seasons in New York.

“Being in New York, a place I’m familiar with, with the city and the baseball here, it’s a good place to be,” he said.

Phillips signed a minor league contract with the Reds in January after refusing to accept a similar deal with the Yankees in December and opting for free agency.

He was called up from the minors by the Reds on May 28. He made two starts at third base for Cincinnati and was batting .143 (3-for-21) with four RBIs. He was hitless in his past 10 at-bats when the Reds cut him.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel was hoping to play Phillips in the four-game series against the Yankees but wasn’t sure if it would work out.

“You like to play a guy that is going against his former team, and his former teammates,” Manuel said. “They seem to have a little bit more energy and desire and motivation to do well. I’d like to play him but I can’t do that at the expense of guys that have been here, and to give them the opportunity.

“So it’s a situation we’ll look at as we go along in the series.”

New York optioned catcher Robinson Cancel to Triple-A New Orleans to make room for Phillips, and could make another move this weekend. Ryan Church, out with a concussion since June 6, went 3-for-3 and played five innings in right field Thursday night in his first rehab start with Class-A Brooklyn. He was scheduled to play for the Cyclones again Friday night.

“Sunday could be a good date for him, could be,” Manuel said. “That would be kind of pushing it anyway but we’d like to have him back as soon as possible.”