8/11/2014 1:19 P.M. ET
Amaro: Franco a possible September callup
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies already have had more than a few discussions about September callups.
The most notable name is Triple-A Lehigh Valley third baseman Maikel Franco, who has been hitting the ball well after struggling early this season. The Phillies' No. 3 prospect is hitting .338 with 11 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 28 RBIs and a .924 OPS in 33 games since June.
"Possibly," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said, when asked if Franco could be called up. "We'll probably have about five or six guys. I'm not really sure how many, but we're kicking some names around."
Other candidates include infielders Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez and catcher Cameron Rupp.
Amaro said last week that Double-A Reading right-hander Aaron Nola is an "improbable" callup because of the innings he has thrown this year with LSU and in the Minor Leagues.
"As far as his makeup is concerned, I don't think it would be an issue," Amaro said. "I just don't know if that's the right thing to do for the player, health-wise. He's never really pitched in a summer. Our history on him is such that when he finishes his college season, he shuts it down, which is great, as far as we're concerned. We have to be cognizant of that and not put him on a load that he's not prepared to handle."
Nola has been impressive through seven Minor League starts, and he was drafted as the most Major League-ready pitcher in the Draft. Could he be a candidate to make the Phillies' rotation out of Spring Training? The Phillies figure to have at least one vacancy.
Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee are signed through next season, although there is no guarantee Lee will be healthy. A.J. Burnett has a player option, although it is unclear if he will pick it up or retire. David Buchanan has replaced Roberto Hernandez's spot in the rotation, while Kyle Kendrick is a free agent.
"Likely not," Amaro about Nola's chances to compete for a job next spring. "I think he needs some more time."
But that could change depending how the roster is constructed in the offseason.
Rowand still considers Phils 'my family'
PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Rowand played just two seasons with the Phillies, but he left an indelible impression on the organization.
He broke and bloodied his face on the center-field fence just so he could catch a fly ball in May 2006, which fans voted one of the top 10 moments in Citizens Bank Park's first 10 seasons.
"For who? My teammates. For what? To win," he famously said about the catch.
Rowand made his only All-Star team and won his only Gold Glove in 2007, when he helped the Phillies win their first National League East championship in 14 years. Rowand will be remembered as one of the guys that jump started arguably the most successful run in the organization's 132-year history.
"We had a good team, man," Rowand said before Monday's series finale against the Mets. "We had a good run. I wish I could have been here for '08. But I'll tell you what, I was at home pulling for them and firing text messages for everybody after the game. These guys weren't just my teammates. They were my family. They were my best friends."
Rowand has been in town as part of the organization's Alumni Weekend. He threw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday. He said he was happy to see former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who was inducted onto the team's Wall of Fame.
"He was the greatest," Rowand said. "Charlie is one of those father-figure guys in your career. He made me the kind of hitter that I wanted to be. And a lot of it has to do with him wanting to hit all the time. He would instruct you, but he wasn't just a mechanical coach. He would help you mentally to get into the right spot, so that you were confident when you stood in the batter's box. And that made a huge difference."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.