Bullpen help on way for Phillies

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Phillies pitcher Ethan Martin. (Michael Perez/AP)

The Phillies bullpen will be getting some extra help in the form of righthander Roberto Hernandez, who is expected to be skipped in the rotation due to the aforementioned off days. Hernandez, who has a 5.81 ERA in five starts this season, will not be needed until May 6. He entered last night's game in the fifth inning in relief of Cole Hamels. Hernandez finished last season in the Rays' bullpen after losing his spot in the rotation.

"He knows the routine," Sandberg said.

Another arm could be added to the mix before the end of May. Righthander Ethan Martin has begun throwing in extended spring training games and could start an official rehab assignment in the near future. Because his shoulder strain forced him to miss most of spring training, Martin is just beginning a progression that usually calls for eight to 10 appearances scattered over 3-plus weeks.

At this point, the Phillies are not planning on using righthander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez out of the bullpen. The Cuban signee faced hitters on Sunday and, according to Sandberg, fared well. Like Martin, he is at the beginning of his progression.

"I got word yesterday that he's throwing the ball well and he's healthy and he looks completely different - a lot different - than spring training," Sandberg said. "Better velocity and better stuff. That's good news."


On Twitter: @ByDavidMurphy

Blog: ph.ly/HighCheese

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