NEW YORK - After selecting outfielders Kelly Dugan and Kyrell Hudson on the first night of the amateur draft Tuesday, the Phillies continued with their selections yesterday. In the fourth round, (137th overall), they chose second baseman Adam Buschini from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. Buschini is 6-foot-2, 204 pounds, and batted .422 with 11 home runs and 61 RBIs this year, his junior season.
In the fifth round (167th overall), the Phillies chose Matthew Way, a 6-2 lefthander from Washington State. Way was 8-4 with a 2.43 earned run average last season, his senior year. He struck out 124 batters and walked 33 in 1071/3 innings.
In the sixth round, the Phils chose 18-year-old Steven Inch, a 6-3 righthander from Edmonton, Alberta.
Paul Bako enjoyed the company of his wife and two children after the Chicago Cubs released him at the end of spring training, but the thought of playing for the Phillies lured him out of his native Lafayette, La., and back into baseball.
"It was great being home that time of year," said the 36-year-old catcher, who is unaccustomed to seeing his family during the baseball season. But the Phillies signed Bako to a minor-league contract May 18. He spent less than two weeks in extended spring training before reporting to Reading, where he batted .357 in 42 at-bats.
"The Phillies, who are the world champs, with the players they have . . . it was a no-brainer," he said.
Bako has played with 10 teams in 11 major-league seasons, so learning a new pitching staff is hardly new to him. "I don't want to say I can learn [the pitchers] faster," he said yesterday, the day after the Phillies called him up to replace injured closer Brad Lidge on the active roster. "The first couple of times I got traded, it was a little tougher to learn than now."
After arriving at Citi Field at 5:30 Tuesday night, Bako caught every reliever except Scott Eyre in the bullpen, and he caught starter Antonio Bastardo's side session yesterday. He believes that the only way to learn a pitcher's tendencies and preferences is to actually work with that pitcher, rather than talk and study video.
Manager Charlie Manuel said that both Bako and Chris Coste would see action behind the plate, and that Bako's presence also enables the Phillies to use Coste as a much-needed pinch-hitter from the right side.
"I'll try to get Bako some time," Manuel said. "Coste will do more pinch-hitting."
After going 5 for 8 with one home run in two games batting sixth, Jimmy Rollins was back in the leadoff spot last night. Entering the game, Rollins was batting .230 with four home runs. "The only thing I was trying to do is give Jimmy a different look and different feel," Manuel said. "He's still my leadoff hitter."
Manuel was not happy about speculation in the blogosphere, publicized in a Tuesday Inquirer column, that leftfielder Raul Ibanez may have used performance-enhancing drugs. "He should have proof to back up what he said," Manuel said of the blogger. "That's a big accusation. That's totally unfair."