Happy to be stuck in middle relief

When David Herndon glances across the Phillies’ clubhouse at Shane Victorino, he knows that his dream can be realized.

Victorino, a Rule 5 pick back in 2005, has become one of the core members of the Phillies.

“It would be great if the same thing can happen to me,” Herndon said.

Herndon, 24, was left available by the Angels last December and the Phillies claimed the hard-throwing reliever for $50,000. A Rule 5 player must stay with the team for a full season or be offered back to his original squad for $25,000, according to league rules.

The young right-hander impressed at Double-A Arkansas, where he finished on a 19 2/3 scoreless innings streak. With the Phillies, Herndon didn’t allow an earned run until the fourth week of Grapefruit League play.

“But that was only part of it for me,” Herndon said. “I had to fit in with this team and pitch well enough to stick around.”

So far, so good. He’s pitched well enough in middle relief to stay. It helps that the bullpen has been hit hard by injuries.

“A lot of veteran guys have been hurt,” Herndon said. “So I have a job to do here. I have to pitch as well as I can. I want to stay a Phillie.”

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