Jose Contreras is likely to return to the disabled list with elbow soreness, according to CSNPhilly's Jim Salisbury, and with J.C. Romero's recent DFA, the Phillies appear poised to recall Triple-A veteran Juan Perez.
Beerleaguer: A couple of reliable local reports from the Morning Call and Express-Times have confirmed that Perez's bags are packed and he'll fly to St. Louis today. Perez, 32, was with the Phillies in spring training, pitched pretty well and was among the last rounds of cuts. Aside from a couple of brief stints with the Pirates in 2006-07, he's your typical good-stuff, no-control lefty and has spent the last seven seasons toiling in Triple-A, earning paychecks from the Red Sox, Mets, Pirates, Braves, Dodgers and the Phillies. With the IronPigs, he was 0-3 with a 3.52 ERA and 41/21 K/BB in 30 2-3 innings, his ERA inflated by a recent bad outing.
His numbers are strong against lefties, holding them to a .184 BAA, but we all know that Charlie Manuel won't use him that way and the results will be predictably poor, the way they were for Romero, Zagurski, Escalona, Swindle, etc. Despite all the miles on the odometer, Perez isn't qualified for the bigs. The Phils know that and don't care (19 games over .500, offering Rule 5 protection to Michael Martinez, room on the 40-man with Romero's DFA, why the hell not?).
Bullpen buyers? The market may not materialize for an affordable, difference-making, right-handed outfield bat, but the Phils could - and really should - make a move to upgrade the bullpen, where they're putting a lot of faith in Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo. They were linked to San Diego's Heath Bell in yesterday's FoxSports Ryan Ludwick report. There are red flags all over Contreras as this point. Expect the Phils to shift gears and target relief.