5/17/2013 7:29 P.M. ET
Mayberry might be turning corner on offense
By Todd Zolecki and Stephen Pianovich / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- The Indians were in town for only two days, but John Mayberry Jr. most likely wished they stayed longer.
Mayberry started both games against Cleveland, went 5-for-8, drove in three runs, scored three times and raised his batting average 35 points.
Entering the series against the Indians, Mayberry had just three hits in his last 21 at-bats. But a three-hit, three-RBI night Tuesday, coupled with two more hits Wednesday, indicate that Mayberry might be turning a corner offensively. Mayberry was in the No. 8 spot in the Phillies' order for both games against Cleveland, and that is where he found himself again in the series opener.
Mayberry had a .253 average, two home runs and nine RBIs entering Friday's game, and he was hitting .357 against left-handed starters. He got a chance to improve that number Friday night against Reds left-hander Tony Cingrani, who entered Friday's game 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA.
Adams battling back strain, hopes to avoid DL
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies setup man Mike Adams has a "very mild" back strain and is day to day, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Friday.
But Amaro said there was no urgency to place Adams on the disabled list because the team had had an extra reliever in the bullpen since last weekend. But the Phillies lose that extra reliever Tuesday, when they need a fifth starter. Amaro said if Adams could not pitch by Tuesday, the team might put him on the DL.
Adams, who received an MRI exam Friday, said his back still hurt on his right side whenever he twisted and that he did not want to rush to get back on the field and risk further injury.
"I'm still kind of hesitant to go out there and throw," said Adams, who has not pitched since May 10 against the D-backs. "I don't want to make it any worse than it needs to be. The main thing is to be smart about this right now; I don't know what the situation is. I was hoping by Sunday to be back out, but I really don't know now."
In 17 appearances this season, Adams is 1-3 with a 3.00 ERA, 19 strikeouts and six walks. When healthy, Adams is the Phillies' eighth-inning pitcher, a role manager Charlie Manuel said Antonio Bastardo would assume while Adams is unavailable.
Adams said he had not talked with the team about a possible trip to the disabled list. He mentioned he had incentive not to go on the DL because of his contract. If Adams makes a combined 120 appearances in 2013-14, he would be guaranteed a $6.5 million option in 2015 if his arm is healthy entering 2015.
For now, Phillies take wait-and-see approach
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. can afford to be relatively patient for a few more months.
Then a decision must be made.
"We don't know if we're going to be buying or selling or both," he said before Friday's game against the Reds at Citizens Bank Park.
For the moment, Amaro remains optimistic, although he acknowledges he is concerned about an offense that has had trouble getting on base, hitting for power and scoring runs.
"I'm comfortable seeing what we've got until we feel like someone else in the organization is better," he said. "I don't see us making any trades any time soon. There's too many teams that are in it, and not enough teams that are out of it.
"If there's something to be done, we'd consider it. But right now we have to be patient to see if Delmon [Young] starts swinging it, and Ryan [Howard] is going to have to start swinging it. If those guys do then we'll be OK. If they don't we'll have to figure out what we're going to do."
Darin Ruf is always on fans' minds. He has been playing better recently in Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Amaro said Ruf was on the Phillies' radar screen but that there might not be a spot for him on the 25-man roster. Amaro will not replace infielders Freddy Galvis or Kevin Frandsen and catcher Erik Kratz. Right now, it seems unlikely he replaces any of the outfielders either.
Like Amaro said, the Phillies want to see if Young can get going offensively.
"We've played a little better baseball lately than we did at the beginning of the season," Amaro said. "Obviously, that's not saying much, but it's better. We've been fortunate, because our guys have actually pitched pretty well.
"We've gotten good pitching performances from people we weren't necessarily counting on. And conversely, other than [Cliff] Lee, the guys at the top of the rotation haven't pitched the way we know they can pitch. In particular, Roy [Halladay] and Cole [Hamels]. I'm less worried about Cole than I am about our offense, which needs to come around and be a little more consistent. And if it's not, we're going to have to figure out ways we can make it more consistent. I think it can be better."
Looking for bullpen answer, Phils call up Rosenberg
PHILADELPHIA -- B.J. Rosenberg did not expect to be in a Phillies uniform Friday.
However, with the Phillies looking for answers in the middle of their bullpen, that was the case, and the 27-year-old righty was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Left-hander Raul Valdes, whose ERA inflated to 7.65 after he gave up three runs to the Indians on Wednesday, was sent down to make room on the Major League roster.
"I wasn't expecting to get called up to pitch in the bullpen," Rosenberg said. "I was just going about my business [in Triple-A], trying to get better starting and going deeper into games."
While closer Jonathan Papelbon has been excellent when he has had the opportunity to finish games, many appearances from the Phillies' middle relievers have not been pretty. In addition to Valdes' ineffectiveness, veteran righty Chad Durbin has allowed 10 runs in 12 appearances for a 7.30 ERA.
"He's got more of a track record than the other guys," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said of Durbin. "He's going to have to pitch better. I think he knows it. How long of a leash he has, I do not know. But he needs to pitch better."
In seven starts in the Minors this season, Rosenberg was 1-3 with a 4.30 ERA, 24 strikeouts and 20 walks. Rosenberg also spent time with the Phillies last season, primarily in August and September.
Joe Savery and Michael Stutes were also Triple-A options with Major League experience, but Amaro said Savery could not be called up because he was not eligible after being optioned to Lehigh Valley on May 10. Amaro added that Stutes had been inconsistent.
That left the door open for Rosenberg.
"Most of our middle relievers have not been very good, so we'll see whether Rosey can come in," Amaro said. "The last time, he threw pretty good. He's stretched out so he can go long."
Though Rosenberg, who was a Phillies 13th-round Draft pick in 2008, initially struggled in the big leagues (his ERA sat at 13.09 after his first 14 appearances), he eventually found his groove. Last September, Rosenberg allowed just one earned run in 10 1/3 innings of work, while holding opponents to a .094 batting average.
His strong finish gave the Phillies a reason to believe in him in 2013, and it gave Rosenberg a reason to believe in himself.
"There will still be nerves; there are always nerves when you pitch," Rosenberg said. "But that experience last year definitely helps. How I pitched toward the end of last year definitely helped my confidence. I think it will help this time around."
• Right-hander Carlos Zambrano, who agreed to a Minor League deal Wednesday, will throw two innings Saturday in an extended spring training game in Clearwater, Fla. He will be limited to 30 to 40 pitches. If that goes well, he will pitch again Thursday, when he will throw no more than 50 pitches.
"Z is not a factor until he can stretch out to six or seven innings, then we'll find out if he can help us," Amaro said.
• Left-hander John Lannan, who is on the disabled list with an injured knee, will throw a bullpen session early next week in Clearwater. Amaro said Lannan was "closer, but he's not close yet."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.