"It's no fun," Amaro said when asked about having two high-profile All-Star infielders sidelined at the same time.
The Phils' general manager laughed when asked if there's anything the Yanks can learn from what he went through.
"[Yankees GM Brian Cashman] is a smart guy," Amaro said. "He's going to try to put his team in a position to fill those holes, and he's probably got pretty good internal options. He has some guys who have experience, because there are some guys who played in A-Rod's place in the past. So I would never put it past him to fill the holes.
"But it's not fun."
The situations are not exact parallels. At this time a year ago, the Phillies were cautiously optimistic that Howard might be back by May 1. But when the surgical wound became infected during Spring Training, the timetable was pushed back. And they didn't know Utley would have further knee problems until he got to Clearwater, Fla.
The Yankees, on the other hand, fully expect Jeter to be ready, if not by Opening Day, at least close to it. And they're fully prepared to be without Rodriguez for much or most of the first half.
The Phils were also holding their own until ace right-hander Roy Halladay went on the disabled list with shoulder problems in late May. And third baseman Placido Polanco was limited to 90 games by injuries, creating a revolving door at the hot corner that caused a significant defensive drop-off.
Cashman allowed that losing A-Rod is "a significant blow," but also pointed out that he always tries to anticipate any possible misfortune and make preparations for any eventuality.
"We're just checking off our what-if column," Cashman explained. "We do that every winter. It's just that this time we know we're going to be without Alex for a period of time."
For that reason, Cashman said, his approach will change surprisingly little considering what a large loss this could be.
"Where do we go from here? I'm going through the winter with the sole intent of trying to improve the club," Cashman said. "We're not going to overreact."
If the Yankees don't suffer further injuries to key players, as the Phillies did, they may be able to ride out this storm better than the team they beat in the 2009 World Series was able to do last season.
"I'm certainly not afraid of this challenge. We've dealt with situations like this before," Cashman said. "We will be Alex Rodriguez-less, and we are not the better for that. But we've done it before. We've just got to figure out a way to get through it. Take a step back and deal with it.
"We won't operate any differently."