The Phillies did not announce Raul Valdes as Wednesday's starting pitcher until after Tuesday's game because of a pitching staff in flux. So a bullpen that can rarely provide three clean innings must chew up all nine Wednesday. The team apparently has no better option.
"That's the way we decided," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "That's what we felt comfortable with."
They waited to name Valdes in case he was needed Tuesday, but Vance Worley pitched six innings and it was unnecessary.
Before the game, the pitchers were just as confused as everyone else. Joe Savery said he had no idea what the plans were.
"I could come here," he said, "and be starting, for all I know."
Valdes and Savery will probably provide a maximum of three innings each. Dubee said the team has the option of adding an extra reliever if needed.
Ideally, the Phillies would have had a minor-league option to start Wednesday, but that was not the case.
Triple-A Lehigh Valley's scheduled starter Wednesday is lefty Tom Cochran, who has spent 10 seasons in the minors without ever appearing in a major-league game. Double-A Reading is scheduled to throw Julio Rodriguez, a 21-year-old prospect with all of 14 starts above single A.
Tyler Cloyd has a 2.17 ERA in 11 triple-A starts, but he started Saturday. He threw 96 pitches and would have had to make his major-league debut on short rest. Veteran Scott Elarton has 170 career major-league starts to his name - although none since 2007. He pitched Sunday for the IronPigs, however, and that pushed him out of the mix.
The staff could be stretched thin even beyond Wednesday. Kyle Kendrick is starting Thursday and has failed to complete six innings in four of his last five starts.
"We might have to rely on Lehigh Valley for some help," manager Charlie Manuel said.
Ruiz far behind
With two days left in online balloting for baseball's all-stars, Carlos Ruiz trails San Francisco's Buster Posey by 887,040 votes. He will not be starting at catcher in the game.
It's not a surprise. Ruiz has spent much of the voting process stranded in third place behind Posey and St. Louis' Yadier Molina. But he ranks third in batting average (.354), third in on-base percentage (.421), and sixth in slugging percentage (.561) in the National League. Those figures are tops for all NL catchers.
Ruiz does not have a national profile like Posey or Molina, and that hurts in a fan voting system.
The entire roster will be announced Sunday and it's highly likely Ruiz will be named a reserve. He has never made an all-star team.
An MRI exam on Brian Schneider revealed a high right ankle sprain and he will miss three to five weeks, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. . . . The Phillies could keep Mike Fontenot over Michael Martinez once Chase Utley returns because Fontenot has swung a better bat. In Martinez' favor are his defensive skills, especially his ability to play shortstop. . . . Domonic Brown's right knee was examined Tuesday, but his return to triple-A Lehigh Valley is not imminent. He could begin baseball-related activities Thursday with no timetable set for a return, IronPigs manager Ryne Sandberg said. He missed his 12th straight game Tuesday. "It's going a little slower than initially expected," Sandberg said. "We're being cautious from an organization standpoint. He's doing well. He's getting closer."