PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies lefty reliever J.C. Romero saw the writing on the wall when manager Charlie Manuel would consistently pull Antonio Bastardo from the bullpen to face lefties and pitch the deep innings of tight games.
To make room for righty starter Vance Worley on the roster, Romero was designated for assignment and sounded as though his days of pitching in Philadelphia are over.
"It was a fun ride, it's over, it's done," Romero said in between packing up boxes outside his locker following Thursday's 3-0 win against the Marlins. "You probably won't see No. 16 again here."
The Phillies have 10 days to move Romero's contract and have several options.
They can trade or release Romero. Another option is to place him on waivers. If no team claims him, the Phils said they will give him an opportunity to return to the organization he helped bring two National League pennants and one World Series title.
"That'll be totally up to him," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "Based on the number of years of service he has, he can make any decision he wants and not have any penalty regarding his salary."
Romero appeared in 24 games this year, tossing 16 1/3 innings and giving up seven runs and walking 12.
The emergence of Bastardo and Michael Stutes made it difficult for Manuel to find work for Romero, who has struggled with command for the better part of the last two seasons.
"The development of Bastardo definitely took some pitching time away," Manuel said. "Bastardo got ahead of him, that was a big thing. J.C. has to pitch to get sharp and his command definitely is a problem, and I think he needs some work."
Said Romero: "That's my student. Sometimes the student does better than the teacher."