With Ruiz's back hurting, Phillies call on Sardinha

With Carlos Ruiz suffering from a back injury, the Phillies purchased the contract of Dane Sardinha. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Carlos Ruiz's back soreness did not send the Phillies' catcher to the disabled list, but it did send pitcher Mike Zagurski back to triple-A Lehigh Valley.

With the exact return of Ruiz uncertain, the Phillies needed a second catcher available for the start of Friday's series with the New York Mets, so they purchased the contract of Dane Sardinha and optioned Zagurski to the Iron Pigs.

Ruiz underwent an MRI that general manager Ruben Amaro said revealed positive results.

"His back is sore," Amaro said. "No change in his MRI from last year to this year. We had a baseline (MRI) done last year. It's not bad news, but we did feel we had to cover him for a few days because of his position. So we got Sardinha back. He did a good job for us last year. He's familiar with the staff."

Sardinha played in 13 games with the Phillies last season and batted .205 with three home runs and eight RBIs. Brian Schneider started Friday night's game against the Mets with Vance Worley on the mound in place of Joe Blanton, who was placed on the disabled list Thursday.

"It's much better news than the alternative," Amaro said of the elbow impingement that sent Blanton to the DL. "Impingement is better than ligament damage. We're not happy he's on the DL, but we're happy it's not super serious."

Amaro said he was still unsure about when Roy Oswalt would rejoin the team. Oswalt left the team during its series in Arizona in order to be with his family in tornado-ravaged Mississippi. The GM said he believed Oswalt was tending to some damage done to his in-laws home. A year ago, Oswalt's mother and father lost their home in a tornado.

"I'm suppose to talk to Oswalt (Saturday)," Amaro said. "We're hopeful he will be back in a few days. I'm not sure if he's going to make his next start. We have off days, so we can flip around our rotation. We can manipulate it a little bit."

The Phillies are off Monday and Oswalt is scheduled to ptich Tuesday when the Phillies open a series against Washington. If Oswalt cannot pitch, Cole Hamels could take his spot in the rotation and would be going on five days' rest.

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