Acquired in a trade with Cincinnati for Wilson Valdez, he was deep on the depth chart in spring training. Horst has a 1.50 ERA in 13 games with 13 strikeouts in 12 innings. Horst allowed a run Monday because Nate Schierholtz dropped a line drive to right.
Recently, the bullpen door has opened for him in more important situations.
The Phillies have five relievers age 26 or younger. No matter what damage has been done in 2012, there are impressions to be made for 2013.
The last 53 games are as much about the Jeremy Horsts of the roster as anything else.
"Lately, I'm in some tougher positions," Horst said. "I like that. This organization is going to test you when you come up. They want to know what they have."
Actually, what they have has improved. Entering Monday, the Phillies bullpen had a 1.18 ERA since July 20, which was the best mark in the National League. It hardly atones for some of the mistakes from earlier in the season. Progress, nonetheless, is progress.
The Phillies have a plethora of young arms to build a 2013 relief corps. Some on-the-job experience in the final two months could benefit the decision-making process.
"When it's all said and done," Horst said, "if I can say those last two months helped me going into spring training, then it's great."
No rest for Halladay
Almost two weeks ago, manager Charlie Manuel floated the idea of shutting down Roy Halladay before the end of the season. Halladay bristled at the notion after seven shutout innings Saturday.
The manager delivered an unequivocal statement Monday in support of Halladay.
"I can answer that right now. We're not thinking about doing that," Manuel said. "I don't have to answer that anymore. He's not going to get shut down unless things vastly change. He has no desire to be shut down. I believe if we are to get his arm stronger, pitching him is fine."
Manuel can and probably will limit Halladay's pitch count at times.
"More than likely, he's not going to see 125," Manuel said. "But if he has a no-hitter going, I'm going to let him throw the no-hitter."
Brown moves up
The latest lineup had Domonic Brown batting second. Manuel sees a young hitter with solid plate discipline so far.
"I think he's been pretty patient at the plate, from what I've seen," Manuel said before Monday's game. "His best hitting right now is in the middle of the field from right-center to left field. Getting experience, that will come later, pulling the ball. That's how most young hitters go."
The Phillies returned to a 12-man pitching staff Monday when lefthander Raul Valdes was activated from the disabled list. Infielder Hector Luna was optioned to triple-A Lehigh Valley. . . . Kyle Kendrick will stay in the rotation and start Wednesday's series finale against Atlanta.