Phillies Notes: Schneider likes Phils' mettle

Posted: August 04, 2010

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - In 2009, Brian Schneider was the backup catcher for a New York Mets team that won 19 fewer games than the previous season and fell to fourth place, largely because 20 Mets spent time on the disabled list.

Is there any comparison to this Phillies team, which had its 15th player go on the DL when Ryan Howard sprained his left ankle?

"No," Schneider said, "because we're winning."

Schneider said the attitudes of the two teams are night and day. He has been impressed with the way the Phillies have dealt with the rash of injuries in 2010.

Manager Charlie Manuel used his 68th different lineup combination Tuesday night. He used 68 lineups in all of 2009.

"Piece of cake," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. quipped.

In 2009, the Mets lost key players just as the Phillies have. Last month, at the All-Star Game in Anaheim, Calif., New York third baseman David Wright said he and the rest of the players had a "helpless" feeling when the injuries piled up and the team spiraled toward irrelevancy.

"It was essentially miserable," Schneider said.

The Phillies have been able to avoid that.

"Guys have picked up slack," Schneider said, "and we're right in the thick of it."

Utley far away

Amaro said the splint on Chase Utley's sprained right thumb could be removed in the next two or three days but the second baseman isn't closer to a return to the lineup.

Without the splint, Utley can begin doing exercises to strengthen the thumb. Still, Amaro estimated that the original timetable of eight weeks of recovery from surgery, which was July 1, remains the outlook.

"We'll see how he feels once he gets out of the splint," Amaro said.

More of the big three

The Phillies have six off days in the final eight weeks of the season. That could allow Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee to set their rotation so Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels start every fifth day while skipping either Joe Blanton or Kyle Kendrick at times.

Manuel didn't shoot down that idea Tuesday.

"I would say that would be good," Manuel said.

Early in the season, Manuel said he wanted Halladay pitching every fifth day. Entering Tuesday, Halladay led the majors in innings pitched.

Extra bases

Leftfielder Raul Ibanez returned to the lineup after missing one game with a sore left wrist. Ibanez batted second. . . . Manuel sat rookie Domonic Brown against Marlins lefthander Sean West. "I think you have to monitor him a little bit until you turn him loose," Manuel said. "That's how I want to do it." . . . Florida's interim manager, Edwin Rodriguez, played for Manuel in 1987 with Portland of the Pacific Coast League. . . . The Phillies named righthander Vance Worley and catcher Tim Kennelly as minor-league pitcher and player of the month, respectively. The 22-year-old Worley was 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA in four July starts with double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley. At single-A Clearwater, Kennelly led all Phillies minor-leaguers with a .388 average in July. He drove in 20 runs.


Contact staff writer Matt Gelb at 215-854-2928 or mgelb@phillynews.com.

Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/magelb.

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