The Phillies' search for an effective righthanded reliever led them Saturday to Rosenberg, a 26-year-old who thought he'd never escape double-A Reading. He suffered the loss when Adam Jones rocked a hanging slider for a two-run homer.
"It seemed like a place that I couldn't get out of," said Rosenberg, wearing a brand-new red Phillies T-shirt in the visitors' clubhouse at Camden Yards. "Seriously, it felt like a pit almost."
A pitcher who began 2012 as an afterthought represents the latest attempt at some normalcy. The Phillies bullpen has stumbled so often that there are few defined roles. Rosenberg, who was throwing well at triple-A Lehigh Valley, can quickly move up the ladder if he pitches decently.
Rosenberg spent parts of four seasons in Reading and started 2012 there. When bumped to triple A for the first time at the end of April, he continued his success. In 11 games and 202/3 innings, he had a 1.74 ERA with 26 strikeouts and six walks for the IronPigs.
With injuries to Jose Contreras, Mike Stutes, David Herndon, Justin De Fratus, and Phillippe Aumont, Rosenberg ascended.
"This happened so quick," Rosenberg said. "I was pitching really well, so you never really know. But if you told me at the beginning of the year that I would be here right now, I would have called them a liar. I'm just thankful for the opportunity."
Rosenberg replaced Raul Valdes, who was optioned to triple A despite a 2.13 ERA in 122/3 innings. The lefty Valdes had actually fared better against righthanded batters than lefthanded ones, but most of his work was in low-leverage situations and the Phillies did not believe he was suited for more important innings against righties.
History for Pierre
In the middle of Friday's 9-6 victory, Jim Thome handed Juan Pierre an autographed bat. "Congratulations," Thome wrote and signed his name. He wrote the number 1,675 on the bat to mark Thome's career RBIs.
But the more important numbers were 1,000, 2,000, and 500.
Pierre became only the 30th player in baseball history to achieve 1,000 runs scored, 2,000 hits, and 500 stolen bases. He scored run No. 1,000 in the second inning Friday on Thome's double.
"It means I've been around a while," Pierre said.
Vance Worley was limited by a pitch count in his second start back from the disabled list. He allowed just one earned run on 93 pitches in six innings. "Everything feels good right now," he said. . . . Chad Qualls pitched two scoreless innings for the first time since May 6, 2011.
Contact Matt Gelb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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