05/29/12 7:30 PM ET
Progress of Utley, Howard will shape Phils' plan
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
That holds especially true after they placed Roy Halladay on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained right latissimus dorsi. But it sounds like the Phillies will go with what they have until Halladay returns in six to eight weeks.
Asked if he would take a hitter or pitcher if the Phillies had only one trade to make, Manuel thought long and hard before he said, "Being as I think we're going to get [Chase] Utley and [Ryan] Howard back, I think I'd take a pitcher. But at the same time, I don't think you guys realize the pitcher that I want. I want somebody that's going to help us -- I don't want a player that's the same player, making a deal just to make a deal. I want a player. I want a consistent player. If he's a consistent pitcher, or if he's a consistent position player, that's fine."
The Phillies said they expect Utley and Howard to play this season, despite the fact there still is no timetable for their returns.
"When [Utley] tells us he's ready to go on a rehab assignment, that's when he's going to go," Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. "But as far as I know, he's been making progress and he's heading in the right direction. Ryan just has to continue to strengthen the calf. It's atrophied from not being able to move around on it with the infection and the Achilles. But he's doing everything in the field, he's running some now as well. It's just a matter of strengthening it."
Howard has been hitting in simulated games the last four or five days.
"I don't have a crystal ball, but our expectation is we'll get them both back at some point," Proefrock said.
Asked if the uncertainty surrounding Utley and Howard makes it difficult to know how to proceed before the July 31 non-waive Trade Deadline, Proefrock said, "Honestly, we've talked about a lot of different scenarios. I haven't gotten the feeling that in any of those scenarios where it's really entered into our thought process that we have to think about a way of replacing them if they don't come back. As I said, in the offseason, we anticipated Ryan's situation. That's why we made some of the moves we made. Freddy [Galvis] has done a tremendous job at second base. If we don't get those guys back, I'm not so sure those are necessarily our top priorities of things we need to do."
Ruiz out of lineup but available vs. Mets
NEW YORK -- Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz has a mildly strained right hamstring, but he was available to play Tuesday at Citi Field.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Ruiz could be back in the starting lineup Wednesday.
The Phillies called up Erik Kratz from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Roy Halladay's spot on the 25-man roster Tuesday. They recalled Kratz because the Phillies do not need a fifth starter until early next week against the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park, and it allows the club to have an extra catcher on the bench while Ruiz is recovering.
Ruiz had an ultrasound on his hamstring Tuesday.
"We just wanted to make sure it wasn't anything more serious than that," Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. "I don't think it's anything [serious]. It's not a DL situation."
Worley feels good yet rusty in bullpen session
NEW YORK -- Phillies right-hander Vance Worley threw 30 pitches in a bullpen session without pain or discomfort Tuesday at Citi Field.
Worley is scheduled to throw another bullpen session Friday, and could rejoin the rotation Monday against the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park.
"It feels like it's been some time," said Worley, asked how sharp he felt. "There's a little rust mechanically. I felt good, but the ball was a little flat, just because I haven't been able to get any angle to it, I hadn't been on the mound in [a while]."
Jim Thome could rejoin the team in time for Interleague games next month in Baltimore, Minnesota and Toronto. That would allow Thome to be the Phillies' designated hitter. Thome has been the DH in extended spring games the past three or four days.
Triple-A Lehigh Valley right-hander Dave Bush has an out clause in his contract beginning June 1. He can leave the organization if he can get a job elsewhere on a 25-man roster.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.