NEW YORK - He came in peace. Ruben Amaro Jr. joined the team here at Yankee Stadium for their three-game World Series rematch with the defending world champions. But there were no heads rolling down the hallway of the visitor's clubhouse. Instead, the general manager expressed confidence that the Phillies would soon break out of the epic offensive funk that has left them with 16 losses in 24 games leading into this series against the Yankees.

"We're not making any major moves," Amaro said of an offense that has averaged just 2.5 runs and two extra-base hits per game since May 18. "This is our team out here. They'll be fine. Get the guys healthy, we'll be fine."

One by one, Amaro addressed each of the concerns facing his team.

Second baseman Chase Utley, who entered yesterday hitting .175 with a .557 OPS and one home run in his last 23 games?

"Everybody's kind of a little bit confused by that, including him probably," Amaro said, "but I think all of us know what Chase is. He's a quality run producer and he's one of the best offensive players in the league, and at the end of the day, he'll prove that to be true again."

Veteran leftfielder Raul Ibanez, who entered last night hitting .247 with a .394 slugging percentage and four home runs?

"What I think has happened, and this is just my opinion, he's still for the first part of the season getting his legs under him," Amaro said of the 38-year-old, who had two abdominal tears repaired in the offseason. "I think having two surgeries like that, pretty significant, I still think he's getting his sea legs under him."

The Phillies' bench, including Ben Francisco, Greg Dobbs and Ross Gload, which ranks last in the National League with 10 pinch-hits (in 83 at-bats)?

"I think Ben's been swinging the bat well, I think Dobber has had his struggles," Amaro said. "I don't know that Gload has played a lot, so it's hard for him to get a rhythm. Obviously we want everybody to perform better, but it's got to start with the guys who are playing every day. That's probably the most important thing. I'm OK with how the bench has played, to be frank with you. I think just as a team we have to play better baseball."

Amaro wouldn't rule out a trade for pitching as the July 31 deadline approaches. He said a lot depends on the progress of lefthander J.A. Happ, who has been sidelined since mid-April with a forearm strain and will make his third rehab start on Friday night, and righthander Ryan Madson, who hopes to return from a broken toe in July.

"Pitching's always the issue," Amaro said. "Everybody is always looking for the same thing at the trade deadline. Again, a lot of it depends on how Happ progresses. We've got to get Madson back. I like our chances when both of those guys are back. It gives us quite a bit of depth, I think. We've got to get these guys healthy. That's the most important element of what we need to do right now."

Moving forward

J.A. Happ, who threw 57 pitches and allowed four runs in 2 1/3 innings in a rehab outing Sunday at Double A Reading, threw a 40-pitch bullpen session yesterday and is on track to make a third start on Friday. Both Happ and Ruben Amaro expressed confidence that he is getting closer to returning to the active roster.

"I'm not that far, hopefully," Happ said, knocking on the wood frame of his locker.

The Phillies said they were not concerned about Happ's velocity, which he said ranged from 86-89 mph on Sunday.

"He's in spring training mode," pitching coach Rich Dubee said.

Happ said the soreness in his forearm that forced him to the disabled list has not been an issue over the last couple of weeks.

"I felt great today," he said. "It's been responding good."


Chase Utley hit second for the first time this season as manager Charlie Manuel looked to split he and fellow lefty Ryan Howard against Yankees lefthander CC Sabathia . . . Triple A outfielder John Mayberry Jr. is back in the lineup at Lehigh Valley after missing a week with a bruised knee . . . Outfield prospect Tyson Gillies, acquired in the Cliff Lee deal in December, was activated from the disabled list at Double A Reading after missing 31 games with a hamstring strain . . . Odds are against a reunion with Pedro Martinez this season. Ruben Amaro said there have been nothing more than casual conversations with Martinez' agent, and that he does not even know if the veteran righthander is throwing in the Dominican Republic . . . Amaro presented Chan Ho Park with his NL Championship ring before last night's game . . . Amaro ran into former Phils GM Ed Wade at Class A Lakewood last night. Don't read anything into it though - he was there checking out the Astros' low-Class A affiliate, who happened to be playing the Blue Claws.