Romero activated, Herndon optioned

The Phillies have activated reliever J.C. Romero from the disabled list. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

The Phillies have activated J.C. Romero from the 15-day disabled list and optioned righthander David Herndon in the process, clearing a roster spot.

Needing a third catcher for at least the next two days, the Phillies must stick with 11 pitchers for now. Herndon was the odd man out.

That should come as little surprise given Herndon's recent performances. In 11 outings (10 2/3 innings), Herndon has a 9.28 ERA. Throwing strikes was an issue (7 BB to 3 K) and Herndon had lost confidence in his best pitch -- the sinker -- while attempting to throw his secondary pitches more often.

It's the first time since the Phillies acquired Herndon in the Rule 5 draft two winters ago that the righthander will not be on the team's active roster. Herndon has never pitched in triple A, having skipped the level to go to the majors.

Romero pitched in a rehab game for single-A Lakewood Tuesday and allowed one walk but picked the runner off. More interesting will be to see how the lefthander is used with the emergence of Antonio Bastardo.

Manager Charlie Manuel said Bastardo will remain in his current role and Romero will be used more as a situational lefty. 

Bastardo has allowed one run in 11innings and has the best swinging strike percentage (19.4%) in all of baseball. Lefties are 1 for 16 against him with eight strikeouts.

Romero was signed to a one year, $1.35 million deal in the offseason to be the primary lefty. But Bastardo has arguably passed him.

Read Thursday's Inquirer for more.

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