Roy Halladay will be the gift that keeps on giving every fifth day for the Phillies bullpen, but after just six games, the remuneration was well earned. In 17 innings, the reconfigured 'pen has performed to a 1.59 ERA and 15/5 K/BB, including encouraging signs from rookies David Herndon and Antonio Bastardo. Observationally, middle relievers Danys Baez, Jose Contreras and Chad Durbin have shown a lot of life on their pitches, while Ryan Madson has taken successful baby steps in assuming a closer role that’s starting to look like it will be his to lose.
Notes: Staying with the bullpen theme, Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle reports the bullpen continues to be a source of concern in Double-A. B.J. Rosenberg lost a 2-0 lead in the seventh Sunday, giving the Phillies their second blown save in three days. Overall, Reading’s relievers have allowed 11 runs in 14 innings, including six homers. ... In Allentown, infielder Wilson Valdez has carried his strong spring into the season with a 9-for-19 so far and multi-hit games in each of the first four games, reports Jeff Schuler for the Morning Call. If Juan Castro continues to sit around and collect dust, the Phils would be wise to swap in Valdez at some point; to my eyes, he already looks like a more dynamic option than Castro. ... Davey Lopes has rejoined the Phillies after missing the first six games following the death of his brother. ... Game chat coming up shortly.
Update: Rosenberg has been placed on the 15-day DL with a right lat strain.