WILLIAMSPORT — Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke with reporters before tonight’s Williamsport Crosscutters Hot Stove Banquet at the Genetti Hotel.
Here’s what he had to said about the team’s winter:
On Jonathan Papelbon: “Having Papelbon will be an adjustment for him and for us. But I think he’s proven that he knows what it takes to make the last pitch of the season, and that was important for us.”
On Jimmy Rollins: “We’re happy to have Jimmy back. It was kind of an arduous negotiation, but I think we got him for the right number of years and he’s going to be very productive for us.”
On the team’s Nos. 4 and 5 starters: “We’re pretty comfortable with the first three, with (Cliff) Lee, (Roy) Halladay and (Cole) Hamels. (Vance) Worley has kind of earned the position to be our fourth starter. We think that Joe Blanton is going to be fine physically. Those are our five right now.”
On Dontrelle Willis: “I think we are kind of taking a risk with him. But we are giving him a chance to be a lefty out of the pen. He has never done it consistently. He’s had a lot of success against left-handers in his career. Whether he can handle that role, we don’t know.”
On the status of free agents Roy Oswalt and Raul Ibanez: “Obviously, those guys are still out there. Probably not fits for us at this stage of the game. We did talk to both of them during the early stages of free agency. Some of their expectations might have been a little different then than they are now. Frankly, we have filled some of those roles.”
On Ryan Howard’s recovery from an Achilles’ injury: “He’s actually done quite well. We are hopeful he can do some baseball activity by the end of next month. If he can do that, that will put him on a pretty decent track. We don’t have any expectations other than hopefully he comes back in the better part of May. We’ll know more as he gets into more baseball activities. He’s in good shape. He’s doing well. We haven’t had any setbacks or anything.”