Eyre, Romero, Happ, Ruiz updates

Lotsa news today on those aching lefties, and the catcher you like to call Chooch.

J.C Romero threw a bullpen session, and afterward was told to report to Clearwater, Fla. tomorrow, to face batters in the instructional league.

“I liked what I saw from him (yesterday),” said pitching coach Rich Dubee. “He could pitch again this year.”
Romero had hoped to throw a simulated game early this week in Florida, and join the Phils in Milwaukee this weekend. Now, he expects to be in Clearwater for about a week. “It is what it is,” he said, sighing.

Scott Eyre, who has a “loose body” in his left elbow, was encouraged after throwing 25-pitch bullpen session, his first since suffering the injury Sept. 7. He said he will require arthroscopic surgery after the season.

“If this had happened two weeks earlier, I could have had the surgery and come back in time for the playoffs,” he said. “I felt like I had some zip on the ball today, felt like it was free and easy.”

Eyre, 37, has previously said that he would likely retire after this season. But he has pitched effectively as a lefthanded specialist all year, causing him to revise that plan.  Eyre said that he would return to the Phillies in 2010, if they wanted him. If not, he would retire.

In the short term, Eyre hopes that the loose body does not hamper his pitching. He felt no difference in velocity yesterday, though pitching coach Rich Dubee said that the injury could impact Eyre in other ways.
“It could affect how much torque he has on his slider, and how much break it has,” Dubee said.

Eyre hoped to be available for Tuesday’s doubleheader at Florida. Dubee said, “I don’t know about that, but it could be soon.”

J.A. Happ, who left Friday’s game in the third inning for what the team called “precautionary reasons” continued to insist yesterday that he had suffered no setbacks, and would make his next start. Dubee backed those assertions.
Charlie Manuel has strongly hinted that if Eyre and Romero are not able to return and pitch effectively, Happ would be sent to the bullpen for the playoffs.

Ruiz said he felt sore, but hoped to be available for Tuesday's doubleheader.  He actually injured his wrist during the Washington series when a foul ball knicked him. He played through it, then aggravated it Friday on a play at the plate. At the moment, the situation does not appear serious.

Shane Victorino no longer feels sick in the tummy, but Ben Francisco gets the start again in center.  Manuel said Francisco earned it with a 3 for 5 night and home run, apparently choosing to forget that ill-advised and failed swiple of third in the sixth inning.

Jack Taschner has a mid-back strain, and is rehabbing in Clearwater.