06/09/12 9:38 PM ET
Phillies attempt to bolster 'pen with Rosenberg
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Sandberg wanted to know if Rosenberg was the guy.
"I wasn't eating pizza," Rosenberg said.
Sandberg went back and forth with Rosenberg before he asked him if they had cameras in the bullpen at Camden Yards. Rosenberg said 'Yes,' and Sandberg finally said, "You can't eat pizza when you're in Camden tomorrow."
Rosenberg was called up to the big leagues as the Phillies try to find a consistent right-hander in the bullpen other than closer Jonathan Papelbon. He was thrown into the fire immediately. Rosenberg threw a perfect 11th inning before allowing a walk and a two-run home run to Adam Jones in the 12th inning in a 6-4 loss.
"Obviously I was really anxious, and I had a lot of adrenaline going, but I felt like I was able to settle myself down," Rosenberg said afterward. "Actually, I might have had more nerves the second inning [I pitched]. I don't know what it was. I was a little jumpy. Offspeed, my slider wasn't very good all day. But I was able to keep my fastball down and hit my spots for the most part. But the one got away from me. It didn't end up like I preferred."
Rosenberg went 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In 11 appearances with Lehigh Valley, Rosenberg pitched two or more innings eight times and struck out 21 batters in his last 11 1/3 innings.
But as well as he pitched in the Minors, Rosenberg had no idea he'd be making his big league debut Saturday in front of 46,611 fans.
"If you told me at the beginning of the year that I would be here right now, I would have called you a liar," he said. "But I'm just thankful for the opportunity."
Rosenberg had been considered a top Phillies prospect at one point, but a lat injury in 2010 derailed him.
"It makes it a little more special, because I had that really good year [in 2009] and went to big league camp, then got hurt in Spring Training and that whole year was really rough," Rosenberg said. "But having that offseason to get better and last year, in Reading again and this year, back in Reading again. It seemed like a place that I couldn't get out of. Seriously, it felt like a pit almost. I was trying to stay positive and I knew that if I controlled myself and pitched well, anything could happen."
The Phillies optioned left-hander Raul Valdes (2.13 ERA in 11 appearances) to make room for Rosenberg because the Phillies need more balance in the 'pen. Right-handers Chad Qualls (4.88 ERA in 26 appearances) and Michael Schwimer (7.56 ERA in nine appearances) have not performed as needed, so Rosenberg will have an opportunity to pitch.
"I got about three hours sleep," Rosenberg said. "I couldn't sleep last night. Flying here. But it's still one of the best days of my life. It's a dream come true. I wish the outcome would've been a little better, but I wouldn't trade places with anybody in the world. I'm happy where I'm at."
Dubee sees the talent in Phillies' bullpen
BALTIMORE -- It hasn't been easy managing the Phillies' bullpen. Not too many bullpens have four left-handers and three right-handers, although that changed Saturday with the arrival of right-hander B.J. Rosenberg.
"Is it tougher than any other year?" Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "I think it's more talented than those early seasons."
The Phillies had pitchers like Amaury Telemaco, Aquilino Lopez, Pedro Liriano, Eude Brito, Julio Santana, Fabio Castro, Matt Smith and others in the bullpen in 2005-06, Dubee's first two seasons as pitching coach under manager Charlie Manuel. The bullpen also included veterans at the end of their careers, like Tim Worrell and Terry Adams.
"I think we've got guys very capable of doing the job," Dubee said. "Whether it's too soon for them, we'll see. But I think the talent is better."
Facing two surgeries, Contreras not yet done
BALTIMORE -- Phillies right-hander Jose Contreras surprised fellow Cuban and White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez on Friday in Chicago, presenting him a replacement gold medal from the 2004 Olympics.
Ramirez lost the medal some time ago.
After the presentation, Contreras, who is on the disabled list with a strained right elbow, talked about surgery and a possible comeback.
"I'm going to have two surgeries," he said. "Tommy John and repairing the flexor. But other than the elbow, I feel really good. Baseball has been my life for 23 years, and it is what I do. I'm going to fight to come back, whether it's next year, I'm going to fight to come back. It's part of my life, and I want to keep doing it."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.