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Phillies to utilize all options in bullpen

Phillies to utilize all options in bullpen

PHILADELPHIA -- Just the other day, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said it might be difficult to put rookie left-hander Antonio Bastardo into big situations against tough left-handed hitters in the postseason.

How things change.

The Phillies have Bastardo, who has pitched just once since June 25, on their 25-man roster for the National League Division Series against the Rockies. Bastardo went 2-3 with a 6.46 ERA, making six appearances, five as a starter. Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee said they could use Bastardo to face left-handed hitters in the sixth inning or earlier.

But Bastardo's lone relief appearance Saturday against the Marlins could be a preview of his big league career.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Bastardo's career could be in the bullpen.

"One, it's probably need," Amaro said. "Two, just having observed him over the past couple years at the big league level, that might where he is most valuable."

The Phillies left infielder Eric Bruntlett and right-handers Clay Condrey and Tyler Walker off the postseason roster to make room for infielder Miguel Cairo, right-hander Kyle Kendrick and Bastardo.

"That was a tough decision," Manuel said about Cairo over Bruntlett. "But at the end, it felt like Cairo went to the Minor Leagues, he had playing time and he was sharper. He's swinging the bat better, and I felt like he was in a position probably to help us more."

Cairo hit .267 (12-for-45), while Bruntlett hit just .171 (18-for-105).

Manuel said he left Condrey (6-2, 3.00 ERA in 45 appearances) off the roster because the club feels he can only pitch to one, two or three hitters. Manuel said Kendrick can pitch an inning, but also can go much longer after spending most of the season starting with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. But with right-handers Joe Blanton and Pedro Martinez and left-hander J.A. Happ expected to be available in the bullpen, how exactly does Kendrick fit?

"We need a third game and a fourth game starter, so we can't burn those guys [Blanton, Happ and Martinez] down there," Dubee said. "Earlier in a game, we might use Kendrick. And in an extra-innings game, he's a guy who could give us some length."

Manuel said Martinez would not be in the bullpen in Game 1. They might be holding him back in case Blanton or Happ are used heavily, which would make Martinez available to pitch Game 4.

Amaro said left-hander J.C. Romero had successful surgery on his left elbow Wednesday. He said the recovery time is expected to be five to six months. Amaro also said right-hander Chan Ho Park, who is out with a strained right hamstring, could be headed to Clearwater, Fla., to continue his rehab.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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