08/24/12 1:48 AM ET
Suspension over, Galvis recovering from back injury
By Jake Kaplan / MLB.com
The injury sent the rookie infielder to the disabled list on June 6. Two weeks later, he was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. The suspension ended last week, but Galvis remains on the DL.
At Citizens Bank Park on Thursday afternoon, taking part in the team photo, Galvis talked to reporters for the first time since his injury. He spoke on the condition that reporters not ask questions about his suspension.
Galvis, who has been rehabbing in Clearwater, Fla. -- and also spent a couple of weeks back home in Venezuela -- said he feels much better. He recently was able to shed the back brace he had to wear for six weeks.
Galvis said he thinks the plan is for him to get some at-bats in instructional league next month. He will then play winter ball in Venezuela.
With Chase Utley out of the lineup early in the season, Galvis was the Phillies' second baseman until his injury. He hit .226 with 15 doubles, three home runs and 24 RBIs. But where the 22-year-old really impressed was defensively. Although primarily a shortstop, he looked like he had been playing second base for years.
With the starting middle-infield jobs occupied, Galvis could figure in the Phillies' 2013 plans as a utility infielder.
Manager Charlie Manuel offered high praise of Galvis for his fundamentals and knowledge of the game.
"If we send Freddy Galvis back to the Minor Leagues [next year], I think we'd have an awful strong team," Manuel said. "That's what I think. We'd be real strong if we send him back. Freddy Galvis is the best baseball player, as far as knowledge and assignment on the field, that I've seen in a long time.
I know people talk about [Mike] Trout, [Bryce] Harper and stuff like that. Freddy Galvis has more natural instincts and more knowledge, carry out an assignment, where to go, and fundamentally play the game than any kid I've seen in a long time."
Aumont makes Major League debut in victory
PHILADELPHIA -- Charlie Manuel didn't plan to use his newest reliever in a tight spot. But the way everything lined up, it just happened.
Phillippe Aumont made his long-awaited Major League debut in Thursday night's 4-3, 11-inning win against the Reds. The 6-foot-7 right-hander threw 18 pitches, 10 for strikes, in a scoreless eighth inning. He did not give up a hit but issued a two-out walk of Miguel Cairo.
The 11th overall pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, and the seventh-best prospect in the organization as ranked by MLB.com's Prospect Watch, Aumont was a key piece in the December 2009 trade that sent Cliff Lee to the Mariners. He was 3-1 with a 4.26 ERA in 41 games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year.
Aumont was promoted to the big leagues after Monday night's win, when left-hander Jeremy Horst went on the Paternity Leave list. When Horst returned on Thursday, Aumont stayed, as the Phillies decided to option right-hander Michael Schwimer.
Aumont warmed up in the bullpen on Tuesday night but didn't get into the game. He finally got his chance on Thursday.
"Just gonna enjoy it, go out there and do the same thing I was doing in Lehigh," Aumont said. "Don't have to change anything. The fastball, the curveball and everything. Just throw the heat."
Horst returned from Green Bay, Wisc., on Thursday after spending a couple days with his wife and newborn son, Cash William. After Sunday's game at Milwaukee, Horst drove two hours to Green Bay, where he resides in the offseason, and his wife gave birth that evening. The Horsts also have a 4-year-old daughter.
"August was definitely a month to remember," Horst said. "It's been fun."
Schierholtz targeting Tuesday as return day
PHILADELPHIA -- Outfielder Nate Schierholtz thinks he will be ready to come off the disabled list on Tuesday, the first day he is eligible to be activated.
Schierholtz, who has been out with a broken right big toe since Aug. 13, took batting practice for the second consecutive day on Thursday. Four and a half hours before Thursday night's series finale against the Reds, he ran on the outfield grass.
"Better than I expected," Schierholtz said when asked how it felt. "It felt good. I think I should be ready come Tuesday."
Running is really the only thing holding Schierholtz back. While he's not yet at full speed, he thinks he will be within the next couple days.
"It's getting better every day," he said.
Since the Phillies acquired him as part of the Hunter Pence trade on July 31, Schierholtz has hit .219 with a home run and two RBIs. The injury came at a bad time, as the Phillies were hoping to get an extended look at Schierholtz. If he's back on Tuesday, he will still get more than a month of playing time before season's end.
Lindblom trying to find footing with Phillies
PHILADELPHIA -- In his short time with the Phillies, Josh Lindblom hasn't exactly seen the results he had hoped for.
Acquired from the Dodgers in the Shane Victorino trade on July 31, Lindbolm entered Thursday with an 0-1 record and an 7.88 ERA since coming to Philadelphia. With the Dodgers, the 25-year-old right-hander was 2-2 with a 3.02 ERA.
"As a competitor and as an athlete, you want to do well no matter where you're at," Lindblom said. "The results haven't been there. There's been some execution stuff where I haven't executed pitches. But it's part of baseball. It's part of the game, being able to deal with failure and deal with struggles."
In the seventh inning of Wednesday's game against the Reds, Lindblom retired the side in order.
But when he came back out for the seventh, he threw a fastball down and inside to Jay Bruce that came back over the plate. Bruce launched it off the second deck in right field for a solo homer. It became the game's deciding run in a 3-2 loss.
Lindblom said many of his recent problems have stemmed from pitching behind in the count too often. But aside from the one pitch to Bruce on Wednesday, he feels that his fastball command has improved, and he has been getting ahead more in his last couple outings.
"It's all about learning and growing and getting to know yourself better," he said. "I'm just battling through it because I know that this is just a blip on the radar. Obviously, you want to throw well, but at the same time you aren't always going to go out and dominate. It's a matter of making adjustments to the league, and to yourself as well.
"It still is an adjustment process, and I'll work through this just like any other struggles or blips I've had. There's still a month left. Just continue to focus on knowing that there's going to be another outing tomorrow and just finishing strong."
Jimmy Rollins was given a day off for Thursday's series finale against the Reds. Michael Martinez started at shortstop and hit eighth. Left fielder Juan Pierre batted leadoff.
"If I can give him a blow every now and then, I think it will help his hitting," Manuel said. "I think it will make him stronger and things like that. Also, I like the way that Martinez played the other day. He's swinging the bat well in BP and stuff like that. I think Jimmy could use some down time, as far as a day off."
Carlos Ruiz took batting practice for the second consecutive day on Thursday. The All-Star catcher is working his way back from plantar fasciitis in his left foot, which landed him on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 3.
"He looked all right," Manuel said of Ruiz's batting practice session on Wednesday. "He's still got to get to a place where he can run and he's also got to be careful when he first starts, too. It is something you can re-do again."
Closer Jonathan Papelbon has recorded saves against each Major League team except for the Reds, against whom the Phillies have four more games this season. If Papelbon notches a save against the Reds, he will become just the 11th player in Major League history to have at least one save against all 30 clubs. Former Phillies closers Jose Mesa and Ugueth Urbina also accomplished the feat.
The Phillies will honor four recent United States gold medal Olympians before Friday's game: Women's soccer players Carli Lloyd, of Delran, N.J., and Heather Mitts, rower Susan Francia (University of Pennsylvania alum) and wrestler Jordan Burroughs, of Sicklerville, N.J.
The Phillies and the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws announced a two-year extension of their Player Development Contract on Thursday.
"The Phillies couldn't be happier to extend their relationship with both the BlueClaws and the city of Lakewood," Phillies assistant general manager of player personnel Benny Looper said in a press release. "It's been a wonderful 12 years and we look forward to many more."
Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.