CINCINNATI -- Roy Oswalt has been in the big leagues since 2001. He never remembers being in the same city on a road trip for six days.
Oswalt and the Phillies begin a stretch of 33 games in 31 days Monday starting with the Reds at Great American Ball Park. The Phillies arrived in Cincinnati on Saturday following the postponement of their scheduled doubleheader against Florida because of Hurricane Irene and play the Reds for the next four days.
"I really haven't done much of nothing," said Oswalt. "I just stayed in the hotel and watched a lot of movies. I think it's the first time in 11 years that I'll have been in the same city on the road for six days."
The Phillies haven't played since Friday when they lost, 6-5, to the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Oswalt started and took the loss in that game. He's not scheduled to start against the Reds.
"It messes with you a little bit," said Oswalt. "You have a set routine where you try to stay on the same thing every day, and when you get extra days in there, you don't know how much extra you have to throw on the side or when you need to throw."
The two off-days will also be a challenge for hitters.
"It's been a slow couple of days because there's been no baseball," said Hunter Pence. "You just deal with it. The last two weeks have been a lot of rain. We've had two rainouts in a row two times, and that never happens. You just have to adjust."
Hamels activated off DL, starts for Phillies
CINCINNATI -- The Phillies activated Cole Hamels from the 15-day disabled list today in time for Monday's game against the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Hamels was placed on the DL last Tuesday, retroactive to Aug. 13, with left shoulder inflammation.
Hamels last pitched against Washington on Aug. 12, when he went five innings and allowed three runs on six hits, walked four and struck out five in a 4-2 loss.
Manager Charlie Manuel said he'll keep tabs on Hamels, but there is no set limit on how long he'll be allowed to go.
"We'll see where he goes, but if we can, we'll make sure he gets some work in," said Manuel. "I think he's going to be fine. We'll watch him tonight as far as that goes. We don't want him to get hurt, but at the same time, we'll see where he's at. He'll tell us by the way he's pitching. How he's getting there will tell us a whole lot."
If there is one team conducive to Hamels returning strong, it's Cincinnati. Hamels is undefeated in eight career decisions against the Reds, including throwing a five-hit shutout in Game 3 of last year's National League Division Series to close out the series victory for the Phillies. Hamels' first career start came against the Reds at Great American Ball Park. He allowed just one hit in his five innings that night.
Overall against the Reds, Hamels has a 1.23 ERA and three complete games in nine starts. He's allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his nine starts, and Cincinnati hitters have batted just .168 against him.
Ibanez works out, benefits from extra time off
CINCINNATI -- Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez did some outfield work before Monday's game against the Reds to further test the strain to his left groin. Ibanez missed three games last week and has not started since Aug. 21.
"[Sunday] I moved around and felt good," said Ibanez. "It's day by day."
The Phillies arrived in Cincinnati on Saturday, leaving Philadelphia ahead of Hurricane Irene. The extra off-days should be beneficial to Ibanez. With the Phillies facing 33 games in the next 31 days, they will need as many healthy bodies as possible. John Mayberry has been playing in left in Ibanez's absence.
"I was thinking about playing [Ibanez], today but at the same time, he needs some work in the outfield to see how much he can run," said manager Charlie Manuel. "I think if we need to give [Shane Victorino] some time off, John can play some center and he can play some right."
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins still doesn't have a definite date on when he'll be able to return, but he feels confident whenever he gets back from a right groin strain he'll get back up to speed much easier than last season. Rollins had two stints on the disabled list in 2010 and played in just 88 games. "This year I've already got more than 400 at-bats," said Rollins.
The Aug. 31 deadline for adding a player to be available for the playoff roster is two days away, and manager Charlie Manuel isn't against making a trade. Any player must first clear waivers before he can be traded at this point in the season. "We could definitely use some players on our bench. We've been short. Raul [Ibanez] and [Ross] Gload can hit, but you've got to put a pinch-runner in for them," said Manuel. "I don't want to run Cliff Lee. He doesn't run the bases. Just because he's the fastest guy we've got, but that doesn't make him a baserunner."
The Phillies are 37-24 on the road this season, the best mark in the National League. Monday's game begins a seven-game road trip to Cincinnati (four games) and Florida (three). The Phillies are 12-3 in their last 15 road games and have won eight of their last nine series away from home.
Kevin Goheen is a contributor MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.