09/19/11 6:55 PM ET
Howard aiming to rejoin lineup by Thursday
Phils slugger receives cortisone shot in left bursa sac
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
"The goal is to try to be back by Thursday," Howard said.
Howard hopes the shot carries him through the postseason. He has had a cortisone injection in his right shoulder in the past, and he said it held up fairly well. But Howard will be cautious with the ankle. He said if he needs to take a few extra days to rest, he will do it.
Howard also has been bothered with a sore toe on his right foot. He is hopeful both injuries heal at the same time.
Club won't split up Lee, Hamels in playoffs
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have the time to line up their postseason rotation the way they want, but manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee said Monday there is no need to split up left-handers Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.
Dubee mentioned there could be a day off between starts for Lee and Hamels, which seems likely if Roy Halladay pitches Game 1 as expected. They also are different types of pitchers with Lee relying more on his cutter and Hamels relying more on his changeup.
Oh, and they're also really, really good, so it probably doesn't matter that much.
Manuel and Dubee said it is too early to know if the Phillies will carry 10 or 11 pitchers in the postseason, and if Joe Blanton, Joe Savery and Justin De Fratus have enough time to open some eyes and earn a spot. The Phils have said their minds are open, but Blanton has missed most of the season because of an elbow injury. He has thrown two innings upon his return and his chances seem doubtful. The club sounds more open about Savery and De Fratus, although they would have to be pretty impressive in limited opportunities to knock out an incumbent.
"What are we going to do? Let a guy throw one or two innings and put him on the roster?" Manuel said.
Dubee said he is not concerned about the back of his bullpen heading into the postseason. Left-hander Antonio Bastardo has struggled recently, although Dubee said he thinks he will be fine. Dubee does not believe Bastardo is overworked or tired from a long season.
"It's a mindset," Dubee said.
The bullpen should get a boost with Vance Worley's arrival. He is headed to the bullpen, possibly after Wednesday's start against Washington. Manuel said he would like to get Worley some work out of the bullpen before the postseason.
Minor League stars Galvis, May honored
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies on Monday honored Freddy Galvis and Trevor May as their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year.
Galvis, 21, hit .278 with 28 doubles, five triples, eight home runs, 43 RBIs and, 23 stolen bases and 78 runs in 137 games between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. May went 10-8 with a 3.63 ERA in 27 games for Class A Clearwater. He struck out 208 in just 151 1/3 innings, third-most in the Minors.
The Phillies have said Galvis has been big league ready defensively for years, but he struggled offensively until this season. Galvis said a rigorous offseason training program in which he added muscle, which included pushing and pulling cars in Clearwater, helped him improve at the plate.
The Phillies will have to decide if Galvis has improved enough offensively to possibly replace Jimmy Rollins, who is a free agent following the season.
"We've talked a lot about Freddy over the last several months," Phils general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "I'm pretty comfortable with how he's developed. Is he ready to be the shortstop for a team that's supposed to be contending for a World Series? We don't know that yet, but he's certainly made a lot of progress. If we had a perfect world, we'd probably have him play a full season at Triple-A and then kind of go from there. But sometimes timing doesn't work out that way."
The Phillies could be forced into a decision if Rollins goes elsewhere.
But could the club handle lesser production offensively at shortstop with offensive questions elsewhere on the diamond, including second base, where Chase Utley's .776 on-base-plus-slugging percentage is the worst of his career since he became an everyday player in 2005?
"Omar Vizquel couldn't hit at all," Amaro said. "I watched him. He was awful. But he made himself a better offensive player. And I got a chance to watch him, and he was the best defensive player I've ever seen. That position may not need all that much offense on our club. I think that's what's important is somebody who can pick it up and throw it across [to first base]."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.