Rollins baffled by Phillies' trade of Lee
Amaro has said club made deal to restock farm system
WASHINGTON -- Jimmy Rollins appeared on The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday and gave a candid response when asked why the Phillies needed to trade Cliff Lee to Seattle in December after acquiring Roy Halladay from Toronto.
"That, I have no idea," Rollins told Patrick. "I'm sure we could afford him. We turned nearly four million people through the turnstiles last year. I don't know. You should have [Phillies general manager] Ruben [Amaro Jr.] on here.
"When the trade happened, I actually got a text from Jayson Werth and he was like, 'What are we doing?' And I was like, 'Didn't we get Halladay?' And he was like, 'Yeah, but we traded Lee.' And my mouth dropped like, 'That wasn't part of the deal.' I really don't know. I thought we had enough to keep him. I thought we could have done enough to keep him. I guess that's just a move the Yankees do. ... That's just the truth. The Yankees would have been like, 'Hey, we got a chance to keep both of them. We'll pay them both for a year or two and we got a chance to win a championship.'"
Amaro declined comment Thursday.
He has said in the past the Phillies traded Lee because they needed to restock their farm system after trades in recent seasons sapped them of their top Minor League talent. The Phils received prospects Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez in return for Lee, who will be a free agent after the season.
Amaro also has said it was Halladay or Lee, never both. Lee had given the Phillies indications he would be difficult to sign to an extension. Halladay agreed to a three-year, $60 million extension as part of the deal.
"This gives us a chance to maybe stretch out the run," Amaro told MLB.com in January. "The point is not just to win this year. It's to be a perennial winner. We want to try to win the World Series every year. I'd rather be a World Series contender for the next four years than to throw all the eggs in one basket for one year. That's what it gets down to."
Of course, salary also came into play. Lee makes $9 million this season, and the Phillies needed to offset Halladay's salary, which is $15.75 million, minus $6 million the Blue Jays sent the Phillies in the deal.
Philadelphia has an Opening Day payroll of more than $140 million, which is the fourth-highest payroll in baseball, according to USA Today.
"I feel that we have enough talent on our club [without having both Halladay and Lee]," Amaro said. "We were last in starting pitching for four months last year and we went to the World Series. Right or wrong, we have enough talent to carry us if we have a glitch here and there. I'd rather make the run for the long haul than for just one year."
Romero, Lidge keep moving forward
WASHINGTON -- Phillies left-hander J.C. Romero threw eight pitches in a perfect inning Thursday against Dunedin in a rehab appearance for Class A Clearwater. He is scheduled to pitch again for Clearwater on Saturday.
Romero is recovering from offseason elbow surgery.
Closer Brad Lidge, who also is recovering from offseason elbow surgery, threw 35 pitches in what the Phillies called a "very good" bullpen session in Clearwater. His schedule is to be determined. Lidge received a cortisone injection in his elbow March 30.
Manuel monitoring Madson's workload
WASHINGTON -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel rarely has used his closer for four-out saves. He likes his closer to pitch one inning, if possible.
But in the team's first save opportunity of the season Wednesday, Ryan Madson entered the game with a runner on second and two outs in the eighth inning with the Phillies holding a 7-4 lead. He struck out Ian Desmond and pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up the save in an 8-4 victory.
"Can he handle it? Yeah," Manuel said of Madson pitching more than an inning.
But Manuel doesn't want to make it a habit. The more inning-plus saves Madson pitches, the less he might be available. He threw just 13 pitches to five batters Wednesday, which means he was available to pitch Thursday. But had he labored through some longer at-bats -- say he threw 35 pitches -- he might be limited later in the week.
"If you keep him on a one-inning pace, usually a guy can go anywhere from four to five days in a row," Manuel said. "He can handle it. Closers do handle it. Mariano Rivera sometimes pitches 2 1/3 innings. But he's exceptional. [Madson] can handle the workload, but being organized [in the bullpen] has something to do with it. If you remember two years ago, that's how we handled [Brad] Lidge. And when Billy Wagner was here, he only threw four outs toward the end of the season."
Skipper feels Phils can win 100 games
WASHINGTON -- The Phillies won 93 games last season, and could have won 100 had Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson not blown a combined 17 saves. So manager Charlie Manuel certainly thinks this year's Phils have the potential to win 100.
They would need to average 16.7 victories a month to make it happen.
"I think the best way for us to play is to play hard every day and see how many we can win," Manuel said. "Of course we're capable of winning 100 games. Yeah, I think so. But at the same time, because I think so doesn't mean we're going to do it."
Ruiz gets day off; Schneider starts
WASHINGTON -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel started catcher Brian Schneider over Carlos Ruiz in Thursday's series finale.
Ruiz went 3-for-6 with two runs scored and four walks in the first two games of the series.
"I just wanted to give Chooch a day off, give him a rest," Manuel said.
Phillies weighing when to use reserves
WASHINGTON -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel knows he must play the rest of his bench at some point, but when? Manuel loves to let his regulars play, and they certainly don't need rest just a few games into the season.
But Manuel also knows Greg Dobbs, Ross Gload, Ben Francisco and Juan Castro need at-bats to keep sharp.
"I've got to get them in a game pretty soon," Manuel said. "If I don't they won't have their timing or anything like that."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.