CINCINNATI -- The Phillies loved Aaron Rowand so much when he played for Philadelphia, they tried to trade for him in the offseason.
They fell short, but they will have another shot at him, if they still want him.
The Giants designated Rowand for assignment on Wednesday, swallowing the remaining $14 million on his contract, which runs through next season.
Rowand hit .233 with four home runs and 21 RBIs in 331 at-bats this season. He became a reserve player last year, and remained one this season. Rowand and Giants manager Bruce Bochy did not see eye to eye, and the San Jose Mercury News said Rowand made his unhappiness clear in the clubhouse.
"He's doing everything possible to get out of here," a Giants player told the newspaper.
The Phillies had no such experiences with Rowand in 2006-07, when he played for them. In fact, they considered him a positive clubhouse influence. The Phillies could trade for Rowand or simply wait for the Giants to release him in 10 days. If that happens, Rowand could sign with the Phillies as a free agent with San Francisco picking up nearly his entire salary.
Bowker adds depth, flexibility to Phillies' bench
CINCINNATI -- John Bowker woke up Tuesday playing for Triple-A Indianapolis, but woke up Wednesday playing for the best team in baseball.
Good trade for him, huh?
"It's awesome," Bowker said.
The Phillies acquired Bowker late Tuesday night for a player to be named later in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is a left-handed-hitting corner outfielder who also plays first base. He is a career .237 hitter with a .289 on-base percentage and a .390 slugging percentage in parts of four big league seasons with San Francisco and Pittsburgh, but is a career .301 pinch-hitter and hit .308 with 15 homers and 76 RBIs with Indianapolis.
"Because he can hit," said Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., asked why they liked Bowker. "We've been seeing him for a while."
Amaro said their scouts who regularly see the International League offered the same reports on him: good role player, good bat off the bench, jumps on the fastball, good bat speed and not a liability in the field.
"We'll see what he can do," Amaro said.
At first glance, Bowker looks like a backup plan for Ross Gload, who has been battling a hip injury most of the season. Amaro said that is part of the reason they acquired Gload, but also because they did not really have another left-handed bat with some power coming off the bench. This gives Phillies manager Charlie Manuel a little more flexibility.
Amaro said the Phillies were unlikely to add another player before midnight's waiver deadline. He also said he does not think the Phillies need another left-handed bat off the bench, although he said that does not mean they will not call up Domonic Brown from Triple-A Lehigh Valley when rosters expand Sept. 1.
Brown has had a tough time recently in Triple-A. He was booed earlier this week during a game in Allentown.
"A little bit, but we're confident in him," said Amaro, asked if he is concerned about Brown's confidence. "He's a guy who, as far as adversity, he hasn't had a whole lot of adversity. It's just a matter of dealing with it. He's a young guy, obviously the expectations are so high. And he has expectations on himself. He'll be fine. Growing pains. It happens."
Blanton slated for Class A Lakewood on Friday
CINCINNATI -- Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Friday with Class A Lakewood.
Blanton has been on the disabled list since May 16 because of inflammation in his right elbow. He will pitch one inning for the BlueClaws. If Friday's appearance goes well, he is scheduled to pitch again Monday.
Blanton is ticketed for the Phillies' bullpen if he continues to feel healthy and throw well.
Jimmy Rollins, who is on the disabled list with a strained right groin, continues to make progress. "He's doing well," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.
Both Amaro and Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said they are comfortable with their bullpen and do not believe they need another left-hander for the sake of having another left-hander.
The second annual Shane Victorino Foundation All-Star Celebrity Fashion Show raised $325,000 last week in Philadelphia. The foundation uses its earnings to benefit underprivileged youth in Philadelphia and Hawaii.
Roy Halladay had three RBIs and allowed only two hits in seven innings Tuesday against Cincinnati. He is the first big league pitcher to have more RBIs than hits allowed in seven or more innings pitched this season. He is the first Phillies pitcher to accomplish the feat since Terry Mulholland, who did it Aug. 15, 1990, when he threw a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants.
Halladay became just the fourth pitcher since 1980 to have at least six consecutive 16-or-more-win seasons. He joins Greg Maddux (eight straight, 1997-2004), Roger Clemens (seven straight, 1986-92) and Jack Morris (six straight, 1982-87).
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.