WSH@HOU: Frandsen's behind-the-back grab saves run

PHILADELPHIA -- Kevin Frandsen made two things clear Friday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park:

He enjoyed his time in Philadelphia, but he did not like how it ended.

"Blindsided," he said before the Phillies and Nationals opened a three-game series. "I was like the ball boy on the sideline that got run over by someone."

Frandsen led baseball with 14 pinch-hits last season and hit .353 with a .920 OPS against left-handers the past two seasons. The Phillies rewarded him in December with a one-year, $900,000 contract, but outrighted him in late March. They said at the time they needed roster flexibility with Freddy Galvis sidelined with MRSA. They felt they needed a backup shortstop for Jimmy Rollins, and the front office did not believe Frandsen could play the position.

The Phillies said they hoped Frandsen would accept his Minor League assignment and remain with the organization. Instead, he opted for free agency and signed the same contract with the Nationals. He entered the series hitting .289 with two doubles, two RBIs and a .714 OPS in 43 plate appearances.

"I was [ticked]," Frandsen said. "I was [ticked]. I knew where I stood with Ryno [Ryne Sandberg] and Bo [Larry Bowa] and all those guys and Hendu [Steve Henderson]. But I was [ticked]. If they thought I was roster flexibility, that's what they thought. But I didn't think that of myself. I earned my way to being on the bench, to being a vital part over there. That's what I thought and that's the feeling I have and I'm going to go with it.

"I'm excited to be a National. I was excited and lucky to be a Phillie. That's first and foremost. I got an opportunity to make it back up to the big leagues and play really well for them. But some things you really can't control and I really didn't control it, obviously. It happened and I'm in a great spot."

Frandsen said he got calls from several teams once he opted for free agency. It didn't take long to sign with the Nationals, who liked him in the past.

"It was a leap of faith knowing my abilities and hoping that people would see it, especially what I've done against left-handers in the last couple years," he said. "It's something they had talked about over here, how they needed stuff against left-handers and I always would just laugh and just be like, 'I didn't prove anything else against left-handers the last two years for you guys?' Again, that was another thing that bothered me. But it is what it is. Like I said, you could sense I'm [ticked] about it, but at the same time, I'm grateful for the opportunity at both places. I'll always think fondly about what's over there on the other side."

Frandsen played 52 games at third base in 2012, which is noteworthy as Phillies third basemen entered this series with a .483 OPS, which is the worst mark in baseball. Frandsen is aware of those struggles, but said, "Cody [Asche] is one of my really good buddies over there. I understand the struggle for him. Cody is awesome. He wants to be good, he is good, he prepares to be good. It's just a matter of time."

Asked if he had this series circled on the schedule as soon as he signed with the Nationals, Frandsen laughed and said no.

He did. He doesn't have a great poker face.

"You guys know me," he said. "I don't have that poker face."

After rainout and off-day, Phils shuffle rotation

PHI@TEX: Kendrick tosses seven frames of one-run ball

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies shuffled their rotation this week after being rained out on Wednesday and an off-day on Thursday, which resulted in Kyle Kendrick's next start being pushed back to Monday against the Blue Jays.

Kendrick (0-2, 3.52 ERA) was scheduled to start against the Mets on Wednesday, but the game was postponed and management decided to skip the right-hander and keep this weekend's rotation against the Nationals the same: Cliff Lee on Friday, A.J. Burnett on Saturday and Cole Hamels on Sunday. Roberto Hernandez will start Tuesday against Toronto.

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg explained the decision on Friday, saying he wanted to keep his top three starters on a normal routine before things get complicated again in two weeks with a two-game series against the Angels sandwiched between off-days on May 12 and 15.

"Just played it out for about three weeks to see how that would look because in about two weeks we have the same scenario with an off-day Monday and another one on Thursday," Sandberg said. "But the biggest thing was to keep as many guys on schedule and on track as possible. I like the way that KK [Kendrick] has pitched up until now. But it was a matter of having Lee pitch on his sixth day and Burnett on his sixth day and then Cole will stay on his fifth day this first time through, up until the next two days off that we have. So it kept more guys on track."

Entering Friday's series opener, Phillies starters had yet to be credited with a win in 10 games at Citizens Bank Park despite a collective 3.72 ERA.

Worth noting

• Phillies outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf could start a rehab assignment as early as Saturday, according to Sandberg. Ruf, on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, has been taking batting practice for a week, but Class A Advanced Clearwater had games postponed on Thursday and Friday due to inclement weather.

• The Phillies finished April with a record of 13-13, which was the first time the club ended April with a record of .500 or better since 2011 (18-8).