Phillies Notes: Dobbs clears waivers, will work at triple A

Posted: June 24, 2010

After announcing Greg Dobbs had been designated for assignment, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was asked if he would have to pick up another lefthanded bat for the bench down the line.

Amaro already had a name in mind: Dobbs.

"We want him to stay in our system," Amaro said Tuesday, "get some at-bats at Lehigh Valley, get to the point where he's swinging the bat well and able to contribute at a higher level than he has."

The Phillies got their wish Wednesday.

Dobbs cleared waivers and accepted a minor-league outright assignment to triple-A Lehigh Valley. He will report Friday.

It is the first time Dobbs, who will turn 32 on July 2, will play in the minors since 2006, when he was with triple-A Tacoma in Seattle's organization.

Had Dobbs rejected the assignment and become a free agent, he would have forfeited about $600,000 in salary. Instead, he chose to stay with the Phillies.

"He will play every day [or most] in triple A in order to get his swing back to where it needs to be," his agent, Dan Horwits, said in an e-mail.

Dobbs batted .152 (10 for 66) for the Phillies in 2010. As a pinch-hitter, the role he thrived in during the 2008 championship season, Dobbs was just 1 for 25 this season.

During the 2008 season, Dobbs batted .355 (22 for 62) as a pinch-hitter, best in the majors. But Dobbs also started 47 games that season, seeing regular time to stay sharp for his pinch-hit appearances.

The regular playing time has been sparse since then, and Dobbs' bench play suffered. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said regular at-bats in the minors could be what Dobbs needs to get back on track.

"When you sit on the bench, your skills get behind," Manuel said. "It's not only your hitting, it's running and fielding, too."

Manuel was asked if he could better manage his bench, allowing his reserves the chance for more at-bats to keep the rust off.

"The object is to win," Manuel said. "Sometimes we forget the No. 1 priority when you show up is to win. Someone says, 'Rest this guy. Rest this guy.' But if you get in a close race . . . usually you want to put the best team on the field."

Madson progressing

As the pitchers participated in a scheduled pitchers' fielding practice drill hours before Wednesday's game, an unfamiliar face joined them: Ryan Madson.

Madson, sidelined since April 29 with a broken right toe, has been throwing regular bullpen sessions since having his walking boot removed recently. The righthander was running full speed in the fielding drills Wednesday without a hitch.

Madson will begin a rehab assignment with single-A Clearwater on Sunday. He is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on Monday, but Madson's return won't come until after that.

Minor matters

The Phillies released major-league veteran Josh Fogg from double-A Reading. Fogg, a righthander, had a 10.21 ERA in three starts for Reading.

Outfielder Tyson Gillies, one of the prospects acquired in the Cliff Lee trade, remained out of Reading's lineup with a hamstring injury.

Extra bases

Carlos Ruiz (concussion) watched Tuesday's game from the dugout. He has yet to take batting practice since being hit in the head last week, Manuel said. . . . Joe Blanton, coming off one of his better outings of 2010, will make his 10th start of the season Thursday against Cleveland.

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