Mike Stutes rejoins Phillies bullpen

Phillies reliever Mike Stutes. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)

Thirteen months removed from his last major-league appearance, Mike Stutes is back in the Phillies bullpen.

The 26-year-old righthander was recalled Thursday and will join the team for Friday's series opener in Washington. He replaces Phillippe Aumont, who was optioned to triple-A Lehigh Valley to improve his control.

Stutes underwent shoulder surgery last summer and was sporadic in spring training. The Phillies wanted him to build innings and confidence in the minors. He posted a 3.33 ERA at triple A with 25 strikeouts and 11 walks in 27 innings. His last three weeks have been particularly encouraging. Stutes had a 0.59 ERA (one run in 15 1/3 innings) during that span.

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He will be the 18th different pitcher used by the Phillies before the end of May.

ZAMBRANO STARTS. Carlos Zambrano, the veteran starter signed to a minor-league deal, pitched in another extended spring training game Thursday. He did not allow an earned run in four innings while striking out four and walking one. He could pitch in a real minor-league game Tuesday.

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