Amaro's focus is on pitching, not offense

Amaro's focus is on pitching, not offense

PHILADELPHIA -- The list of injured Phillies is a long one, and they are all pitchers: Roy Oswalt, Ryan Madson, Joe Blanton, Jose Contreras and Brad Lidge.

There is little more than a month before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, and the Phillies suddenly are thin in the rotation and bullpen. The focus since the beginning of the season has been the team's inconsistent offense and need for a right-handed bat, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is thinking pitching.

"Everybody wants to talk about the offense, but to me, it's always about pitching," Amaro said Tuesday. "Those are things that win championships. If we were able to do some things in that area that would be great, but we're hopeful we'll get Contreras back and at some point, maybe Lidge as well."

Madson is eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list Monday, and the Phillies do not seem concerned about him.

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Amaro said he thinks Oswalt, who is on the DL with lower back inflammation, could be back before August.

"I'm a little bit more optimistic than maybe some of the reports people are throwing out there about August," Amaro said. "A lot of that will depend on how he feels as he goes."

Blanton could throw a bullpen session Monday. He could be back in August. Contreras could be back in August, too.

"If those guys get back, I feel pretty comfortable about our club," Amaro said.