Notes: Team scrambling for starters

Notes: Team scrambling for starters

BALTIMORE -- Monday's rainout and Brett Myers' departure has left the rotation in disarray, forcing Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and his coaches to search for reinforcements.

They arrived in the form of Adam Bernero, a pitcher who the Phillies signed to a Minor League contract 20 days earlier. The right-hander had compiled a 1.57 ERA in three starts for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, allowing 14 baserunners in 23 innings.

He'll start on Friday in the first of three games against the Blue Jays.

"He's pitched pretty well for us," assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

The 29-year-old spent last season in the Braves chain, and this spring didn't make the Royals as a non-roster invitee. The Phillies transferred Randy Wolf to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-roster for Bernero.

To find space for Bernero on the 25-man active roster, the Phillies optioned starter Brett Myers to Class A Clearwater. He has also been placed on the inactive list. While on that list, Myers won't be paid or accrue service time until he reports to the Threshers.

He couldn't be placed on the disabled list -- like Tim Worrell was last season with psychological issues -- because he's not physically inable to pitch because of a mental condition.

Sunday's start will go to the relievers, with Cory Lidle taking his regular turn Saturday.

Bernero, who owns a 5.91 ERA in 146 Major League games with Detroit, Colorado and Atlanta, trumped other Triple-A candidates Gavin Floyd and Eude Brito for the opportunity. Cole Hamels and Scott Mathieson started Wednesday's doubleheader, and neither would pitch on three days' rest, and Ryan Franklin had been told by the coaching staff that he wasn't an option.

Hard times: These are the hardest days for Hamels, the ones that involve struggling on a Major League baseball mound.

It took some getting used to for the rookie who has had so few struggles over his amateur and professional baseball life.

"Seriously, I [stink]," Hamels said. "I'm not going out there and doing everything that I possibly can. I'm not getting ahead of hitters, and I'm definitely not finishing guys."

The 22-year-old was pelted for the third time in four starts in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader, and saw his ERA balloon to 6.49 for June. The loss was his fourth straight.

Among Hamels' indiscretions were a pair of two-run homers, one by Ramon Hernandez and one by Brian Roberts in the fourth.

The biggest thing for Hamels is that he senses Major League hitters sitting on his devastating changeup, widely-known as his bread and butter. In an attempted counter-attack, Hamels is trying to be too fine with it.

"I'm trying to be better than I really am," Hamels said. "I'm trying to be too good. I just need to be myself."

White debut: Rick White made his Phillies debut in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader. He tossed two scoreless innings, allowing one hit.

The hit came on a grounder up the middle that bounced off White's left ankle, a grounder that White apparently thinks he could've fielded.

"It I had brought my glove, I would have been a little happier," he said.

Burrell finds the fence: Pat Burrell found his home run stroke Wednesday, smacking a two-run shot to staightaway-center field in the eighth inning. It snapped an 0-for-18 stretch that included 11 strikeouts.

Including the homer, Burrell is hitting .194 in June with 26 strikeouts.

"Everything is confidence in this game, and hopefully [the homer] was a confidence builder for him to get on the right track," bench coach Gary Varsho said.

Walking wounded: Jon Lieber (left groin tear), who allowed four runs in five innings Tuesday night for Class A Clearwater, is scheduled to pitch Sunday for Clearwater or Double-A Reading. The Phillies hope he'll make one more start, and be ready to pitch for the Phillies. "He's on track," Amaro said. ... Randy Wolf, (left elbow, broken hand) who has a non-displaced fracture on his fifth metacarpal bone in his left hand, cancelled Tuesday's outing for Class A Lakewood, and the injury will likely set him back for about 10 days. The Phillies remain hopeful that he can pitch for them by late July. ... Mike Lieberthal's arrival has been pushed back to after the All-Star break, either in San Francisco or San Diego. Recovering from a strained hip, he still has discomfort when running the bases.

Coming up: Madson's recent history suggests that the right-hander should be primed for a good outing against righty Rodrigo Lopez and the Orioles in Thursday's 7:05 p.m. series finale at Camden Yards.

Madson has followed good outings with poor outings in the past six starts. His last June start was particularly poor, as he lasted just 1 2/3 innings, and surrendered six earned runs. He gets hit most when he can't establish the fastball and then has to rely on the changeup.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.