Phillies Notes: As deadlines approach, Amaro stands pat

"We'll try to make the right decision on how many guys we need here," Ruben Amaro Jr. said. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)
"We'll try to make the right decision on how many guys we need here," Ruben Amaro Jr. said. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)
Posted: August 30, 2011

CINCINNATI - The way Ruben Amaro Jr. sees it, his current 25 players are plenty energized for a stretch of 33 games in 31 days that began here Monday. Two days without baseball in Ohio were more than enough motivation for a return to the field.

And even with the option to acquire outside help by Wednesday's waiver deadline and Thursday's expansion of rosters, Amaro expects no changes to his roster.

The Phillies will not work a trade before Wednesday because the players who cleared waivers were owed too much money and the players the Phillies desired never made it to them on the waiver wire.

And they will not add any minor-leaguers Thursday when the limit expands to 40. Triple-A Lehigh Valley had a 11/2-game lead in the International League wild-card race with eight games to play entering Monday and Amaro said he'd rather see the players there. For now.

"We'll let them play out the season there and see how it goes - unless we have any urgent needs, which right now I don't think we do," Amaro said. "We've gotten plenty of rest."

Not even a third catcher or reserve infielder like Pete Orr will join the team Thursday?

"Nope," Amaro said.

The Phillies will need help later, of course, when they play two doubleheaders in the span of six days in mid-September. Theoretically, Kyle Kendrick could pitch in both of those doubleheaders. The only starting pitcher on the 40-man roster not currently active is Scott Mathieson, and Amaro said he could possibly spot start later.

Perhaps the most interesting case is Domonic Brown, the top prospect demoted to the IronPigs for regular playing time and to learn a new position (left field). Brown is hitting only .247 (21 for 85) since his demotion July 30, but he has a .407 on-base percentage. He could be in a similar situation as last season, when despite a lack of regular playing time in the majors he still made the postseason roster.

"We haven't thought about it that far ahead," Amaro said.

Any player in the organization as of Aug. 31 is eligible for the postseason even if they are not currently on the 25-man roster. The Phillies have two players on the disabled list - Joe Blanton and Jose Contreras - who can be replaced by any organizational player come October.

"We'll try to make the right decision on how many guys we need here," Amaro said. "I don't think we need too many. I don't anticipate many call-ups."

Ibanez ready

Charlie Manuel said he considered starting Raul Ibanez in left field Monday, but exercised caution. Ibanez, who hasn't started since Aug. 21 because of a sore left groin, participated fully in batting practice and did extra work in the outfield under the watch of head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan.

"He's pretty close," Amaro said.

Extra bases

Trevor May became the first Phillies minor-league pitcher to get 200 strikeouts since at least 1980, as far back as the franchise's individual records for strikeouts go. May, 21, has struck out 203 batters in 1471/3 innings at single-A Clearwater. He has a 3.54 ERA. . . . Orr was optioned to triple A to clear space for Cole Hamels, who was activated from the disabled list Monday. . . . Kendrick said his wife, Stephenie, could deliver the couple's first child any day now. He'll leave the team when the time comes. . . . The Sept. 18 Phillies-Cardinals game at Citizens Bank Park was selected by ESPN as its Sunday Night Game and will start at 8:05 p.m.


Contact staff writer Matt Gelb at mgelb@phillynews.com or @magelb on Twitter.

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