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Rosenberg could pitch his way into 2014 plans

PHILADELPHIA -- It is no secret that the Phillies' bullpen needs help.

Philadelphia's relief corps entered Wednesday's series finale against Washington with a 4.30 ERA, the worst in the National League. Looking ahead to next season, there are plenty of holes to fill behind closer Jonathan Papelbon -- assuming he is not traded in the offseason -- so anybody who wants to step up over the final few weeks of the season is welcome.

Right-hander B.J. Rosenberg has done just that recently. Since being recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Aug. 18, he has 10 scoreless appearances. Over 8 2/3 innings he has allowed four hits, three walks and struck out nine.

Opponents have hit .133 against him.

"I've used a little bit of a different grip with my slider, and that seems to have helped," Rosenberg said. "A lot of it was mechanical. I came from out of the windup and did a little tap step on the way back, and it helped me get over the rubber and carry a little more angle on the ball. That has also helped me in the stretch -- angling the ball. I've been getting a lot of groundouts and keeping the ball down."

Rosenberg throws 97 mph, which makes him dangerous when he is getting movement on his pitches and throwing them for strikes.

"I feel great," he said. "My arm feels really, really good. If you put together a few good outings, you do feel more confident. If you have a bad outing, you can try to look back at the other ones. That just comes from getting more experience up here. I feel more comfortable.

"I'm not trying to think about next year. I'm trying to pitch well while I'm here. Nothing is ever guaranteed. I'm just trying to impress [interim manager Ryne Sandberg]. I want them to have confidence in me that I can do this job. I'll take things as they come next year."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for
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