Phillies Notes: Stutes glad for chance at end of season

Phillies pitcher Michael Stutes throws the baseball during the sixth inning. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Phillies pitcher Michael Stutes throws the baseball during the sixth inning. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Posted: September 29, 2013

ATLANTA - Three months passed between games for Mike Stutes, and when he stepped onto the Marlins Park mound on Tuesday, he expected nothing. He had thrown just five bullpen sessions while recovering from shoulder inflammation. He faced one hitter, Ryan Howard, in a relaxed environment.

"If I spiked a slider," Stutes said, "I told him I was throwing it again."

So a scoreless inning against the Marlins was welcomed, even if he topped out at 89 m.p.h. There was no pain in his right shoulder, which has robbed him of the last two seasons after such a promising rookie year in 2011.

Stutes said his arm strength is comparable to that at the beginning of spring training because his throwing program was limited. He spent the summer in Florida working to make the area around his shoulder stronger. He thought there was a chance he could return to the majors, but as the season's conclusion neared, he figured otherwise.

Then the call came.

"That was something I really wanted," Stutes said. "When they asked me how I was doing, I let them know that was something I wanted to do if possible. It's just good to be up here and show them. They don't have to take the word from somebody else, like hearing from a trainer down there, 'Oh, he looks pretty good.' They can get their own eyes on me."

The Phillies, of course, are searching for any bullpen competency. Stutes, 27, will have the chance to win a job if he dazzles in spring training. The same could be said of many young arms.

Wells returns

The Phillies activated Casper Wells from the disabled list Friday, and manager Ryne Sandberg said the outfielder was available for use this weekend. Wells last played Aug. 25 because of vision issues related to Lasik surgery. He underwent another corrective procedure this month.

Wells, who was the property of five teams in 2013, managed just 101 plate appearances all season. That is why he will play winter ball, Sandberg said. The 28-year-old is eligible for arbitration and is not likely to be tendered a contract.

Extra bases

Ethan Martin will start Saturday's game, Sandberg said. Martin is expected to pitch two or three innings as Roy Halladay's replacement with the bullpen needed to survive yet another full game. . . . Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis will play winter ball in Venezuela.

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