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Valdes optioned as Phils clear room for righty

Valdes optioned as Phils clear room for righty

Valdes optioned as Phils clear room for righty
BALTIMORE -- The Phillies hinted Friday afternoon they were trying to do something to change the look of their bullpen.

They announced a change following a 9-6 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards.

They optioned left-hander Raul Valdes (2.13 ERA in 11 appearances) to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room for another right-hander in the bullpen, because other than closer Jonathan Papelbon -- who picked up his 16th save Friday night -- the only other right-handers in the bullpen are Chad Qualls (5.32 ERA in 25 appearances) and Michael Schwimer (7.56 ERA in nine appearances). The Phillies said they would announce the callup Saturday, but candidates include B.J. Rosenberg (1-0, 1.74 ERA in 11 appearances) and Phillippe Aumont (1-0, 5.40 ERA in 15 appearances). Aumont has pitched better recently since returning from the disabled list.

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The Phillies outrighted infielder Pete Orr off the 40-man roster, clearing a spot.

The Phillies are thin in the bullpen, because Jose Contreras, Mike Stutes, David Herndon and Justin De Fratus are on the disabled list.

"I've been here seven or eight years, and I've been in a lot of tough spots down in the bullpen," Charlie Manuel said. "We're trying to do some things."

Trying to do some things?

"We're trying to see if we can improve our team," Manuel said. "We're in a tough spot right now. I think everybody knows that. We're in a tough spot, but we still have to come out and play as good as we possibly can and see if that's enough."

Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said the team is "always trying to get better. That's what our job is. We're constantly trying to get better, whether it's internally or externally."

Asked if there is more pressure to make a move, considering Manuel is so shorthanded in the bullpen, Proefrock said, "We always feel like we're under pressure to get better. That's our job. I don't know what else to tell you."

He also said he is not aware of any financial limitations to make a move, although it is worth noting it is rare for big trades to be made more than seven weeks away from the July 31 Trade Deadline. And now that there are two Wild Card teams in each league, more teams believe they are contenders and less willing to trade top talent.

"I don't think there's anybody out of contention," Proefrock said. "There may be teams more inclined than others to do something. A team in contention might have a need that's different than we have and there might be a match. You never stop exploring things. Our objective is to get better. That's what we're charged with. That's what we're trying to do. That's what we talk to our scouts about constantly. When things are going good, we're doing the same thing. There isn't more pressure."

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