Notes: Davis up, Geary sent to Triple-A
Slugger Branyan dealt to Cardinals for player to be named
MIAMI -- With his season winding down at Triple-A Ottawa, Kane Davis' thoughts lately had been turning toward the upcoming start of bow hunting season in his home state of West Virginia.
The deer back home can rest easy for at least another month.
In a move to bolster their bullpen for the stretch run, the Phillies recalled Davis on Friday to replace Geoff Geary, who was optioned to Ottawa, but should return to the Majors after the Lynx's season ends Monday.
"We needed another arm," assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We've gone through quite a few of late."
Davis pitched briefly with the Indians and Brewers in 2000 before earning a permanent spot in the Rockies' bullpen in '01. The right-hander posted a 4.35 ERA in 57 games, then was shipped to the Mets after the '01 season.
But right elbow surgery ended Davis' 2002 campaign after 16 appearances, and he didn't pitch in the Majors again until '05, when he went 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 15 relief appearances with the Brewers.
"The work that I've put in just to get back, be healthy again and be back here, I can't really describe it," Davis said. "It's just ... I'm happy."
Davis was 3-3 with a 3.06 ERA in 41 appearances with the Lynx this season, striking out 60 and walking 26 in 53 innings.
"He's got good stuff," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "I think he can help us."
As for Geary, he hasn't recovered the form that made him such a potent weapon out of the bullpen last season. After posting a 2.96 ERA in a team-high 81 appearances in 2006, Geary's ERA has hovered around 5.00 for much of the season. Manuel also said the right-hander's velocity has been off this year. Geary allowed a pair of runs in 1 1/3 innings in his last outing.
"He needs to be more aggressive," Manuel said. "Hopefully, he can get straightened out. I'm definitely not wary of putting Geary in the game, but we expect him to be a little better than he has been, and I'm sure he wants to be better."
Shipped out: Russell Branyan, whom the Phillies designated for assignment on Monday, was traded to St. Louis on Friday for a player to be named.
"Our understanding was that St. Louis was probably going to end up claiming him because they had a third-base need, so we decided it was prudent for us to get a player for him," Amaro said, adding that the team should know who it's getting in return by Oct. 15.
Branyan began the season with San Diego, where he hit .197 with seven homers in 122 at-bats. He was released on July 28, signed with Cleveland, played one game with the Indians' Triple-A affiliate, then was acquired for cash by Philadelphia on Aug. 9. The 31-year-old appeared in seven games with the Phillies and notched two hits -- both home runs -- in nine at-bats.
Bourn again: Amaro said outfielder Michael Bourn is close to a return from the sprained left ankle that has sidelined him since July 30.
"He's coming along pretty well now," Amaro said. "He did have a pretty severe ankle sprain and still has some swelling, but we're hoping within the next week to 10 days, he'd be available to play."
Bourn is hitting .284 in 109 at-bats and has stolen 18 bases in 19 attempts.
If it's not broke: Chase Utley was once again hitting in the No. 2 slot Friday, the fourth time he's been penciled in there in the four games he's played since returning from the disabled list. The second baseman's 8-for-19 clip during that span has something to do with the decision, but so does superstition.
"The only reason I kept him there is because we've won five straight," Manuel said. "It seemed like no time to start managing."
On deck: The Phillies will look to take another step forward in the National League East standings on Saturday as they take on the Marlins in the middle game of a three-game series. The 7:05 p.m. ET contest will feature J.D. Durbin (6-3, 5.14 ERA) against Byung-Hyun Kim (7-6, 5.44 ERA).
Tom Keller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.