Manuel would still like some bullpen depth

(Gene J. Puskar/AP file photo)

Charlie Manuel has the right-handed bat he wanted in Hunter Pence and the Phillies lineup looks more potent than at any point this season.

That does not mean the manager would reject more help if general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. could add a reliever or a left-handed bat off the bench in the next month.

"I look at our club right now and I'm very happy with it," Manuel said before Monday's game at Colorado. "We could still use a bullpen piece, but ... that piece we're talking about might be in the minor leagues. I don't know. We have two or three good young prospects down there. I'm not saying we have to make a big trade or something, but I do worry about the depth in our bullpen."

That was especially a legitimate concern as the Phillies started a series against the Rockies at Coors Field. Even since the introduction of the humidor, this is a place where bullpens can log a lot of innings and, at the moment, the Phillies only have six relievers available.

The Phillies opted to go with 11 pitchers after the team acquired Pence and activated Placido Polanco from the disabled list.

Manuel said he is concerned about overworking rookie Michael Stutes and lefty Antonio Bastardo.

The manager mentioned Michael Schwimer and Phillippe Aumont as players who have recently been impressive for the IronPigs.

Before the non-waiver trade deadline passed, the Phillies were linked in trade rumors to Colorado's Jason Giambi and Minnesota's Jim Thome. Obviously each player would be a tremendous addition as left-handed power bats off the bench. However, now that players must clear waivers before being traded, the Phillies are an unlikely landing spot for either Giambi or Thome.

Because the Phillies have the best record in baseball, the other 29 teams can all claim a player ahead of them.


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