Durbin's return from DL will leave Phillies with difficult decision

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The Phillies will have a difficult roster move to make once Chad Durbin is activated from the DL. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

If all continues to go well for righthander Chad Durbin, the Phillies could soon have the full complement of relievers they anticipated being in their bullpen when they opened spring training.

With closer Brad Lidge and left-handed setup man J.C. Romero on the disabled list at the start of the season, the Phillies have not had their bullpen entirely intact all season.

Durbin, on the disabled list since June 24 with a strained right hamstring, pitched a perfect inning and struck out two for Clearwater Saturday night and is scheduled to pitch again Monday for Clearwater.

Whenever Durbin is ready to come off the disabled list, the Phillies have a difficult roster decision.

Do they designate righthander Nelson Figueroa for assignment for the second time this season or do they offer Rule 5 draft pick David Herndon back to the Angels?

Some might argue that the Phillies should release veteran reliever Danys Baez, who struggled through the first half of the season, but he signed a two-year contract worth $5.25 million before the start of the season, so that's not happening.

Herndon, a rookie, is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA and in his last eight appearances he has a 2.35 ERA.

Figueroa is 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA. Since rejoining the team from triple-A Lehigh Valley he has allowed one hit and no runs spanning four appearances and 7 1/3 innings. If you include the three starts he made for the IronPigs, he has allowed just 11 hits, two runs and struck out 25 batters in his last 26 1/3 innings. He has a 0.68 ERA during that stretch.

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