NEW YORK - The Phillies have options to start for them every fifth day instead of using a cast of relief pitchers, but president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Friday that the team expects to continue using bullpen games this month even though the strategy dug them holes the last two times they tried it.

“Do we have other options? Yes. We have plenty. One of our options is starting for the Padres today,” Dombrowski said, referring to Vince Velasquez, who started Friday night for San Diego after being released Tuesday by the Phillies. “If we would’ve started him, everyone would have said ‘How can you start him?’ I mean, you can’t win. We have people we can start, sure. We just think this gives us the best chance to win.”

The Phillies have used bullpen games three times this month, beginning with a three-run effort over 10 innings in Miami on Sept. 5. But the last two have been much less inspiring, as the bullpen games have yielded 18 earned runs in their last 18 innings.

The bullpen game dug the Phils a 7-0 deficit in the third inning Thursday as Matt Moore and J.D. Hammer combined to allow all seven runs. The offense overcame it and outscored the Cubs, 17-1, the rest of the way. But that doesn’t seem like a sustainable way to win during a playoff push.

“We don’t really have anyone built up to go seven innings,” manager Joe Girardi said.

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The remaining starters on the 40-man roster are Adonis Medina and Cristopher Sanchez -- whose triple-A starts this season have mostly been limited to five innings -- and Tyler Phillips, who has averaged three innings per start since being claimed off waivers from Texas. The Phillies released Chase Anderson and Velasquez, dropped Moore to the bullpen, and lost Zach Eflin to season-ending knee surgery.

Hans Crouse, the prospect returned from Texas in the Spencer Howard trade, is not an option because an illness has kept him from pitching since Sept. 11. He’s expected to pitch Sunday in the minors. The thinned starting-pitching depth is why the Phillies still believe in their bullpen game strategy. And if they stay on rotation, they’ll use it three more times this season.

“We have people we can start on Tuesday and give us four or five innings. We just think this gives us a better chance to win,” Dombrowski said. “Now, people say ‘You gave up all the runs yesterday.’ Well, we had two guys who didn’t throw well and everyone else threw well. That’s the thing when you throw a bunch of guys, that’s always the risk, that’s always the debate about that situation. You have to have more guys throw well, but a lot of our guys threw the ball very well yesterday and did their job.”

“I’m not sure what we’re going to do Tuesday because we’ll have to see how the next four days go. But I would think we’ll use the same scenario.”

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Phillies awards

Infielder Bryson Stott and right-hander Jean Cabrera were named winners of the Paul Owens Award, given yearly to the Phillies’ top position player and pitching prospects.

Stott, the No. 14 pick in 2019, is batting .296 this season with a .874 OPS between high-A Jersey Shore and double-A Reading. Cabrera, 19, has allowed seven earned runs this summer over 46 innings in the Dominican Summer League. In his first pro season, he’s struck out 57 batters and walked seven.

Darrell Conner, the team’s national scouting coordinator, was named the Dallas Green Award winner, which is given each year to a pro or amateur scout. Dominican Summer League manager Orlando Munoz was awarded the John Vukovich award.

Extra bases

J.T. Realmuto started Friday at catcher after leaving Thursday’s game with soreness in his triceps after being hit by a pitch. ... J.D. Hammer was optioned to triple A and left-hander Damon Jones was promoted. ... Aaron Nola will start Saturday against Mets right-hander Carlos Carrasco.