Phillies Notes: Phillies living with young relievers' growing pains

Posted: June 15, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS - B.J. Rosenberg was one of the first Phillies in the dugout at Target Field before Wednesday's game. As the Twins took batting practice, the rookie reliever saw Rich Dubee leaning against the railing and shuffled closer to his pitching coach for a chat.

The Phillies have already used 18 pitchers in 2012, and options are limited. They have called up whom they can, will not have reinforcements for some time, and cannot swing a trade for a meaningful addition.

So learning on the fly is the only reality, and any nugget gleaned from a bad outing or chat with Dubee could help. Three pitchers who have worn IronPigs uniforms this season - Rosenberg, Joe Savery, and Jake Diekman - combined for three innings of ineffective relief in Tuesday's 11-7 defeat.

"They need to get experience somehow," assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. "Hopefully, they learned something."

Savery allowed three runs in two innings and called it "the most disappointing" outing of the season because of the way his teammates showed life on offense.

"This is the big leagues," Savery said. "You have things to learn. You have to learn it and put it into practice."

After yet another loss, manager Charlie Manuel's silver lining was the innings Rosenberg, Savery, and Diekman had on the mound, however gruesome at times. For a team slipping further behind by the day, it's a faint moral victory but an enlightening one. This is who the Phillies have, for better or worse.

"There's going be some growing pains there," Manuel said. "But they have talents, they have arms, they have good fastballs. It's going to take some time to get them some experience, get them in spots where they can command their pitches."

Galvis in brace

Following a second opinion on his fractured back, Freddy Galvis will spend at least three weeks in a back brace without any physical activity. The rookie second baseman will miss significant time with the injury, but the team is not ready to proclaim his season over.

Galvis, 22, suffered a pars fracture of his L4-5 vertebra. Head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan said the injury did not happen on one specific play. Galvis has dealt with minor back pain since at least this past winter.

He must wear the specially designed brace at all times, except for when he showers.

"The biggest thing right now is trying to get him comfortable," Sheridan said. "Make him feel better and get this to heal."

Sheridan said it is not an uncommon injury in baseball - Mets third baseman David Wright suffered a fracture in his lower back last season - and typically it happens in younger players. Galvis sought a second opinion Tuesday from Peter Moley at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

There is no timetable for his return, although whether he will play again in 2012 is in doubt.

Extra bases

Vance Worley's ERA dropped by 0.17 and Mike Fontenot was charged with another error when Major League Baseball made a scoring change Wednesday for Saturday's game in Baltimore. Fontenot was charged with an error on a third-inning grounder hit to him by Endy Chavez, which took away another earned run from Worley's ledger. . . . Righthander Justin De Fratus (elbow) has shown real progress in his recovery, Proefrock said. "There's light at the end of the tunnel," he said.

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