Phillies notes: Oswalt's return set; Utley improving


Sunday, May 1, 2011
Posted: 7:48 p.m.

By Jim Salisbury

The Phillies expect Roy Oswalt to return to the team on Thursday and rejoin the starting pitching rotation on Saturday.

Oswalt has been with his family in tornado-torn Mississippi since Wednesday.

Off days in the schedule will allow the Phillies to seamlessly adjust their rotation to accommodate Oswalt, while making sure the rest of the rotation pitches on regular rest.

Here is the rotation for the coming week:

MondayOff day.

Tuesday vs. WashingtonCole Hamels.

Wednesday vs. WashingtonVance Worley.

Thursday vs. WashingtonRoy Halladay.

Friday vs. AtlantaCliff Lee.

Saturday vs. AtlantaRoy Oswalt.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said that tornadoes caused damage at Oswalts in-laws home, but everyone is healthy.

Utley update
Chase Utley stepped up his rehabilitation from right knee tendinitis on Sunday. He saw breaking balls and changeups from pitching coach Rich Dubee in a round of batting practice and simulated several innings at second base. Utley sat between innings so team athletic trainers could evaluate how his knee responded to game-like timing. Utley participated in cut-offs and other game-like activities.

Utley is clearly getting closer to playing in a minor-league game, but team officials will not put a timetable on his recovery.

We wont know if hes close until we find out how he feels Monday, Amaro said. Right now he feels OK. Hes progressing.

When Utley is ready for some game action, it will likely come in a controlled situation in extended spring training camp in Clearwater.

Amaro was asked if Utley could be getting some innings in Clearwater in a week or so.

Its possible, he said. But theres no timetable. This is literally day to day.

After playing in some extended spring training games, Utley will need to get more at-bats on an official minor-league rehab assignment. He has not taken a competitive at-bat since October.

Brown update
Top prospect Domonic Brown is fully recovered from his fractured right hand. His rehab stint at Clearwater is over and he will be optioned to Triple A Lehigh Valley on Monday. He is expected to play for the IronPigs on Monday night.

The Phils are in no rush to bring Brown to the majors. They want him to get significant at-bats at Triple A as he continues his development.

He needs to play, Amaro said. Were not going to bring Domonic Brown up just to bring him up. Well bring him when hes ready to contribute here.

Rehab for Romero
Lefty reliever J.C. Romero, recovering from a calf injury, will pitch an inning for Single A Lakewood on Tuesday night.

In another injury note, catcher Carlos Ruiz (strained lower back) is progressing. He caught in the bullpen on Sunday and could be ready for action on Tuesday.
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