PHILADELPHIA -- When the Phillies optioned 26-year-old right-hander B.J. Rosenberg to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on June 24, they converted the reliever into a starter. Not permanently, because they thought it would make him more effective coming out of the bullpen.
"A lot of it was to just kind of work on offspeed pitches, facing hitters a couple times through the lineup and maybe getting stretched out a little bit," Rosenberg said. "I think the main purpose was just to keep working on my stuff."
It seems to have worked. Pitching coach Rich Dubee commented on how much Rosenberg's slider has improved.
"I think my slider's gotten a lot better since I started doing that," Rosenberg agreed. "It's tighter and harder. I've changed grips on it. I'm just a lot more confident with it and able to throw it how I want to. And the consistency of my changeup is better, too. So I think it's paid off."
Another plus is that manager Charlie Manuel has talked for years about having relievers who can pitch more than one inning. Against the D-backs on Friday night, Rosenberg came in and retired all six batters he faced, striking out three.
"Even in the past, even to start the year off, there were only a couple times when I didn't go more than one inning," Rosenberg said. "So, yeah, I think I can go multiple innings, and it doesn't really affect me."
Doc downplays idea of being shut down
PHILADELPHIA -- There has been plenty of speculation about the possibility that stars like Roy Halladay, Carlos Ruiz and Vance Worley could be shut down for the rest of the season if the Phillies fall completely out of contention.
After all, Halladay spent nearly two months on the disabled list this season with a strained right shoulder. He's pitched at least 220 innings for the past six years and will turn 36 next May. Ruiz was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and Worley is pitching with bone chips in his elbow that will likely be surgically removed after the season.
Manager Charlie Manuel didn't rule out the idea before Saturday's 3-0 win over the D-backs at Citizens Bank Park.
"What you're talking about is definitely debatable. It's not like [the idea] is out of sight. Those are good arguments," he said.
After the game, however, Halladay and Manuel both strongly downplayed the possibility.
"I will do everything I possibly can to not do that," Halladay said. "I talked to Charlie about it. I want to pitch. I'm here to pitch. I don't need rest. I need to go out and get reps, to get out and pitch and be a part of the team. So if I have any say in it at all, it's not going to happen.
"I'm not the only one who has a say, but I need to pitch. I want to go out and pitch. For me, there's no benefit to taking a couple weeks or whatever it may be at the end of the season. I want to build on this and finish strong, and the only way to do that for me is by pitching."
Said Manuel: "When you talk about shutting him down, that's a good argument. But at the same time, I'm old school and old schools throw. That's how you build your arm back up. Nowadays, you look at it and say, 'Well, why don't you shut him down or send him home or something?' If Robin Roberts were here, he'd tell you, 'Keep throwing.' Or Bob Gibson or Sandy Koufax. Guys like that would tell him to keep throwing to get his arm strong again."
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins moved into sole possession of third place on the Phillies' list for games played with 1,740. He had been tied with Larry Bowa. Only Hall of Famers Richie Ashburn (1,794) and Mike Schmidt (2,404) are ahead of him.
Class A Lakewood outfielder Kelly Dugan and Class A Clearwater left-hander Adam Morgan are the Phillies' Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for July.
Dugan batted .374 in 29 games for the BlueClaws.
Morgan was 2-1 with a 1.56 ERA, striking out 53 batters in 40 1/3 innings. On July 29 against Jupiter, he retired the first 22 batters he faced before allowing a hit.
Troy Hoffert has been named the Minor League Athletic Trainer of the Year for the Gulf Coast Rookie League. Hoffert, in his 20th season with the organization, also won the award for the GCL Phillies in 2006.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.