NEW YORK -- There has been a lot of losing lately, and the Phillies are preparing themselves for trades in the event they keep losing.
The Phillies have not been sellers before the July 31 Trade Deadline since 2006, when they moved Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, David Bell, Rheal Cormier, Ryan Franklin and others to change the look on the field and the chemistry in the clubhouse. But no matter what happens in the next few weeks, even if the the team becomes sellers, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Thursday the Phillies plan on competing in the future.
"It's more about retooling than it is redoing," he said at Citi Field. "We've got a lot of players that are pretty [darn] good that I expect to be playing next year for us."
The will have Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, Hunter Pence and others under contract next season.
"We plan on being contenders in '13, '14, '15 and '16," Amaro said. "We're not blowing this team up. That's not going to happen. Regardless of what happens over the next couple of weeks, we plan on being contenders for the next several years. Even if we don't get to the finish line this year, we still view ourselves as contenders after this year."
Mid-July looking like target for Doc's return
NEW YORK -- Roy Halladay could be back in the Phillies' rotation as early as the July 16-18 series in Los Angeles.
Halladay has been on the disabled list since May 28 because of a strained right latissimus dorsi, but he said he has been progressing well. He is scheduled to throw his third bullpen session Saturday at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies have indicated Halladay could rejoin the rotation without making a rehab start, which would be unusual considering how much time he has missed, but Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Thursday he likely will have one.
"I think he's going to have to have some kind of rehab," Amaro said. "We can set up some things where he does simulated stuff, too. He's probably better off having some sort of rehab. We'll see how he feels Saturday, and we'll figure out where we go from there."
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley did not start Thursday, as expected. It continues his schedule of playing two consecutive days and resting the third. With three games this weekend against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park before the All-Star break, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he has been thinking about playing Utley in all three games, although he would not commit to it.
Outfielder Laynce Nix has been on the disabled list since May 10 because of a strained left calf. The Phillies said Thursday he is improving. "He'll be back after the break," Amaro said. "How far after, I'm not sure."
Right-hander Justin De Fratus has been on the DL since the season started because of a sprained right elbow. He is supposed to throw another bullpen session Friday. He should begin a rehab assignment within the week.
Triple-A outfielder Domonic Brown has been sidelined because of a sprained right knee. He could begin a rehab assignment shortly with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies. Brown has been unable to stay on the field for a significant period of time this season, which the Phillies had hoped he would do. "He needs to play," Amaro said.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.