ATLANTA — Brian Sanches hadn't started a season in the minors since 2009. So when he began 2012 as a Lehigh Valley IronPig after appearing in 100 major-league games during the previous two seasons, there was disappointment.
"It was tough to get started mentally," Sanches said. "Not because I just didn't want to, but it's hard to explain. You're so used to being up here. But once I was able to mentally get back into it, I adjusted a few things mechanically that had fallen off. Everything has been going really well."
Sanches was promoted Tuesday to replace David Herndon, who was placed on the disabled list late Monday with elbow inflammation. He received a battery of tests Tuesday, the results of which were not immediately available.
In the meantime, the 33-year-old Sanches provides some experience in a shuffled bullpen. Sanches was added to the 40-man roster, which is now full. The Phillies could have opted for Jake Diekman or Phillippe Aumont, who were both on the 40-man roster, but chose Sanches.
"We talked about a few different guys and we needed someone who could give us length," Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "Diekman doesn't provide that."
That allowed Sanches to don a Phillies uniform for the first time since 2007.
"It seems like it's been a while," he said. "Time flies."