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Cummings Out of Phillies Outfield

February 24, 1998

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) _ The Phillies made a little more room in their outfield by releasing Midre Cummings on Tuesday.

Cummings, 26, was the Phillies’ center fielder for the second half of last season, after Philadelphia claimed him off waivers from Pittsburgh on July 8.

While he hit .303 in 63 games for the Phillies, manager Terry Francona said he didn’t do the two things he’s looking for from a center fielder.

``We were looking for good defense and a base-stealing threat,″ he said. ``We really didn’t get either of those out of him.″

Cummings, 26, stole only two bases last year, was caught stealing three times and has only three steals in 235 major-league games.

``We think he would get more out of his ability if he worked harder,″ general manager Ed Wade said. Cummings raised eyebrows in the clubhouse when he took himself out of a game last season with what was seen as a minor injury.

Cummings’ departure leaves Ruben Amaro, Billy McMillon and Tony Barron to fill one or two backup jobs in the outfield, assuming Lenny Dykstra is healthy and starts. Rex Hudler also has played the outfield.

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