CHARLIE MANUEL says lefthander Fabio Castro is going to be a very good situational reliever in the big leagues. Just not right now.

The Phillies sent Castro to Double A Reading following yesterday's 5-3 win over Toronto.

"He needs to pitch more," Manuel said. "A lot more."

The move doesn't come as a surprise, and indicates that Ryan Madson, who has been on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, is set to return. In a rehab appearance in Reading yesterday, Madson gave up three hits and struck out two in the last two innings of Reading's 5-2 loss to Portland.

The move, however, does leave the Phillies in an awkward position. Unless they make a move quickly, they will begin a six-game road trip in Florida with no lefty in the bullpen.

Aside from starter-turner-closer Brett Myers, the bullpen has been horrendous for the greater part of the season - especially in the last two outings.

Geoff Geary, who gave up three home runs in 1 2/3 innings yesterday, has been dismal in three of his past four outings. He has allowed eight earned runs in his last four innings, after allowing just three earned runs in 18 innings in his first 17 appearances.

On Saturday, Clay Condrey gave up six earned runs in two-thirds of an inning in a 13-2 loss to the Blue Jays, increasing his earned run average to 9.00. He had allowed just one earned run in his previous six appearances.

Manuel said the 22-year-old Castro, who has a 12.27 ERA, needs more innings to become more consistent.

He pitched just 3 2/3 innings in five appearances since being called up April 26.

"I think he needs to pitch more on a regular basis, and pitch a lot, so he's ready once he comes back up here," said Manuel, who likened Castro to San Francisco reliever Ricardo Rincon.

"He just needs some experience."

A little help in the outfield

The Phillies turned two doubleplays from the outfield yesterday.

The Phillies turned two doubleplays from the outfield yesterday.

Centerfielder Aaron Rowand recorded his fourth assist of the season when he doubled off Troy Glaus at first after catching an Aaron Hill fly.

Rightfielder Shane Victorino, who leads the National League with seven assists, doubled Royce Clayton off second in the seventh inning after catching a Ryan Roberts line drive.

Phillers

Ryan Howard took ground balls before the game and said, "I feel great." Howard, out with a quadriceps strain, will make rehab appearances with Class A Lakewood on Wednesday and Thursday, and expects to return Friday in Atlanta . . . The 10-game homestand produced an attendance total of 383,092. *

Ryan Howard took ground balls before the game and said, "I feel great." Howard, out with a quadriceps strain, will make rehab appearances with Class A Lakewood on Wednesday and Thursday, and expects to return Friday in Atlanta . . . The 10-game homestand produced an attendance total of 383,092. *