Happ to DL, Romero activated

Phillies' pitcher J.A. Happ will be placed on the 15-day disabled list. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Lefthander J.A. Happ didn't try to hide his emotions after being placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday afternoon with a strained left forearm.

"It's frustrating," Happ said. "I'm a miserable person when I'm on the DL. I'm going to try to be a little bit better about that, but to not be a part of it and not being able to compete ... it's frustrating for sure."

Left-handed reliever J.C. Romero completed his rehab assignment and took Happ's roster spot. Righthander Nelson Figueroa will replace Happ in the rotation and make his first start Saturday night in Arizona.

Happ, after experiencing discomfort in his forearm during his April 15 start against Washington, tested the injury with a bullpen session that was halted after 20 pitches by pitching coach Rich Dubee.

"We think we caught it at a good time," Dubee said. "He finally disclosed it. He didn't have to disclose too much when he walked six guys (against Washington) and you could tell nothing was coming out of his arm the other day. I feel very positive it won't be a tremendously extended period."

General manager Ruben Amaro estimated that Happ might only miss a week or two. His DL assignment is backdated to April 16, which means he'll be eligible to return May 1 when the Phillies are home against the New York Mets.

If there's a reason for more concern it's that Happ experienced a similar injury in 2007 when he was at triple-A Ottawa. Rather than disclose the problem, he tried to pitch through it. In addition to aggravating the problem, he also had poor results, going 4-6 with a 5.02 ERA in 24 starts.

"I think they're being smart about it and I agree with them," Happ said. "It has progressed some and we hope it continues to do that. We're not going to shut it down completely. I'm still going to toss and stuff and try to keep the arm moving. Hopefully I'll be able to get on the mound again soon.

"Unfortunately I just think it's one of those things that needs not to be stressed for a little while. It's just something when I let go of the ball it's an uncomfortable feeling, but it's not as intense and sharp as it was. The bullpen today was OK, but I wouldn't feel like I'd be that successful going out and trying to get big-league hitters out."

Happ said he tried to pitch through the forearm pain in  2007 because he was young, ambitious and foolish.

"It was a situation in '07 where I was younger and I felt like I was on the verge and I just didn't want to miss an opportunity," Happ said. "I didn't know my body as well and I tried to get through it and thought I could do it. I was a little more stubborn and I didn't have the perspective that hopefully I have now."