Phillies Notes: Rollins, on the mend, eyes a Sept. 6 return

"What I'm concerned about is getting him back healthy," Ruben Amaro Jr. said of Jimmy Rollins. (Ron Cortes/Staff file photo)
"What I'm concerned about is getting him back healthy," Ruben Amaro Jr. said of Jimmy Rollins. (Ron Cortes/Staff file photo)
Posted: August 31, 2011

CINCINNATI - The return of one major contributor to the Phillies was wildly successful Monday when Cole Hamels tossed six stellar innings. Now that leaves only Jimmy Rollins.

Rollins' progress from a strained right groin is measured in tiny increments, such as some lateral movement, batting practice in the cage, and tweets updating his health afterward.

Rollins believes he can be ready by Sept. 6, when he is eligible to be activated from the disabled list. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. holds a different view.

"I'm not all that concerned about that date," Amaro said. "What I'm concerned about is getting him back healthy."

Rollins participated in batting practice with the team Tuesday and fielded ground balls for a second straight day. He reported no issues and still thinks he can return without a minor-league assignment.

In his place, Wilson Valdez has provided adequate output. In fact, Valdez has seven extra-base hits in August. He had nine in the season's first four months.

Valdez started only seven games in July and said the extra time on the bench allowed him to do more work behind the scenes. Pitch recognition is something Valdez said he's worked hard on.

The extra-base hits have followed in bunches.

"It's something that helped me out right now," Valdez said. "The way they play me, shallow, when you make good contact it goes over their heads."

A vote for Brown

During a Monday doubleheader at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Domonic Brown was booed by IronPigs fans. He struck out in four of his six at-bats, dropped a fly ball in left field, and misplayed three other balls.

Two days earlier, he had a four-hit game. But confidence for the 23-year-old top prospect is a tricky balance the Phillies will consider in September.

If it were up to manager Charlie Manuel, Brown would return to the majors as a call-up before the end of the season.

"I would definitely recommend him coming back," the manager said.

"To us, he's still a big prospect. We look at him as a guy who has a chance to play for us. There's no sense in why we shouldn't bring him back."

But Amaro said Monday it could be best to send Brown home once the triple-A season ends so he can clear his mind after a trying season.

"I think he kind of needs to get away," Amaro said.

Fall league rosters

The Phillies will send seven players, none of them on the 40-man roster, to the Arizona Fall League. All seven players are eligible for selection in this winter's Rule 5 draft unless they are protected on the 40-man roster. This is a chance for further evaluation.

The group is headlined by Tyson Gillies, one of the three prospects acquired in the second Cliff Lee trade. Gillies, 22, has played in just three games this season while hampered by hamstring and foot injuries.

He will be joined by righthanders Tyler Cloyd, B.J. Rosenberg, and Colby Shreve; lefthander Jacob Diekman; and first basemen Cody Overbeck and Darin Ruf.

Extra bases

 Righthander Michael Schwimer was optioned to triple-A Lehigh Valley after Tuesday night's win. The team will make a corresponding move Wednesday. . . . Joe Blanton (sore right elbow) threw a bullpen session Tuesday and was encouraged. He'll throw another Friday and could pitch in simulated games after that. . . . Jamie Moyer is using the Phillies' facilities in Clearwater, Fla., as he intensifies his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Moyer, 48, has said he intends to pitch next season. The Phillies said they were happy to provide a training location.

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