By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Phillies have played 42 games this season, and haven’t had one at-bat yet from Chase Utley or Ryan Howard. Cliff Lee and Vance Worley have spent time on the disabled list, Roy Halladay is out for two months, and the best hitter on the team so far has been Carlos Ruiz. All things considered, Ruben Amaro Jr. thinks the team is in a good spot.
“I am encouraged by the fact that we’re only three back. We’ve been in this position before,” Amaro told KYW NewsRadio’s Harry Donahue on Friday.
The team is hoping that they’ll be able to replace an injured pitcher, with one who’s healed. “Hopefully we’ll get Mr. Worley to slide into Mr. Halladay’s spot,” Amaro said. “He’ll be doing a bullpen today, and we’ll have a little bit more information for everyone today.”
The Phillies are known for making big trades mid-season to address needs, but Amaro thinks the added playoff spot and close races in the NL East and AL East will make that more difficult this year. “The availablity of quality starters and quality players is going to be very limited,” he said. “To be frank with you, I’d be very surprised if anything happens or gets going until closer to the deadline.”
Amaro did consider adding a familiar face to the rotation. “We had talked to Roy [Oswalt] and saw him pitch. Like I’ve said publicly, we kind of dance around the edge and talk a little bit … we did have some discussion with his agent.” Oswalt signed with the Texas Rangers earlier this week.