Kyle Schwarber sits out on Saturday vs. Marlins with back soreness

Philadelphia Phillies

MIAMI — Kyle Schwarber exited the Phillies’ game in the ninth inning on Friday night because he felt soreness in his lower back. Manager Rob Thomson said he would be cautious with Schwarber, and on Saturday, he was out of the lineup.

“[He’s doing] better,” Thomson said of Schwarber. “But he’s still a little bit tight. Just want to be cautious.”

Thomson said that Schwarber felt the soreness while running from first to third in the fourth inning on J.T. Realmuto’s double. He is unsure how long his DH will be out, but characterized his level of concern as “very low.”

» READ MORE: ‘You don’t see many grizzly bears with an eight-pack’: Why Kyle Schwarber is moving better this year

“I don’t know [how many days he’ll need],” Thomson said. “We’re just going to take it day by day. When he’s ready, we’ll go. I want it knocked out.”

“He won’t be long, I’m sure,” he added.

Thomson put utilityman Whit Merrifield in the leadoff spot to replace Schwarber on Saturday. Merrifield has spent the majority of his career batting leadoff (3,054 at-bats, entering Saturday). He was penciled in at third base, because Thomson wanted Alec Bohm to get a day off his feet.

He said that Bohm is fine, health-wise. Merrifield only had 56 innings of experience at the position at the big league level, but Thomson wasn’t concerned.

“He’s really comfortable,” he said of Merrifield. “He’s done a good job. He’s a baseball player, you know? You can put him anywhere and he’ll do a good job.”

» READ MORE: A T-shirt showed up in Brandon Marsh’s locker on Friday. Here’s why it reminded him of his late father.

Keeping Turnbull stretched out

Spencer Turnbull, the Phillies’ starter-turned-temporary-reliever, will be available out of the bullpen on Saturday afternoon, but the Phillies would prefer to use him in the days after that. Because Turnbull would be on three days’ rest on Saturday, he’d only be able to give the Phillies two innings. They want to keep him stretched out, which in Thomson’s mind, is pitching three innings or more.

The goal, for now, is to have Turnbull pitch at least three innings once a week. They are hopeful he’ll get more work than that. Turnbull could give the Phillies 80-90 pitches on Sunday, but Zack Wheeler is pitching and given how deep he normally pitches into games, it’s unlikely Turnbull will be needed.

“The plan and the goal is to really keep him lengthened out so that he’s available in case something happens, if we need a sixth starter,” Thomson said. “Or something happens earlier in the game.”

He added: “I think for every week that he’s not stretched out you can probably take an inning off his length.”

Extra bases

In Sunday’s series finale, Wheeler (4-3, 1.64) will face left-hander Braxton Garrett, making his first start of the season after dealing with shoulder soreness. … The Phillies entered Saturday’s game with a run differential of plus-58, which ranks second in MLB, behind the Dodgers (plus-73). … Three FCL Phillies right-handers threw a combined no-hitter Saturday in a 5-0 win against the FCL Tigers in Clearwater, Fla. Enrique Segura pitched the first six innings, Adilson Peralta the seventh and eighth, and Josbel Garcia the ninth.

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