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July 23 2006

The Phillies made the first of several difficult choices they will face in the upcoming months on Saturday -- they designated Sal Fasano for assignment.

Fasano has appeared in more games (50) than any of the other three players the Phillies have used at catcher this year.  In 140 at-bats he hit 243/284/386.  He hit a home run in his second at-bat of the year for the Phillies, a two-run shot off Brett Tomko.  On June 7 in Arizona he went 4-for-4 to raise his line on the year to 281/326/449.  Since June 7 he hit just 176/208/275 in 51 at-bats.   I still believe he could have had a nice year if the Phillies had used him against lefties rather than in a platoon with Lieberthal based on who was starting for the Phillies.   Fasano's numbers for the year against lefties were solid, 273/368/394, but he really can't hit righties (234/255/383).  He did have some nice moments on the year -- having pizza delivered to fans leaps to mind, and it will be hard to forget the look on the face of Gavin Floyd when Fasano would charge out to the mound to try to talk Gavin back to a common plane of existence during some of Floyd's rougher outings.

Fasano, who was angered by hearing the news he'd been designated secondhand, has indicated he's not willing to go to Triple-A, which is a shame if true.  It's hard to think of a player more brittle than Mike Lieberthal at this point, and rosters expand in just over a month.

While we're on the roster, I'm still ready for someone to explain Fabio Castro to me.  I keep waiting for the next shoe to drop and it never does.  As long as it doesn't, I think the only thing we can assume is that the Phillies thought Castro was much better than Haigwood, and that the difference was worth a roster spot for someone they were rarely going to use. 

Lieberthal was in the lineup yesterday for the game that was rained out against the Braves.  Lefty Chuck James would have started that came for the Braves, who will skip James and go with another lefty, Horacio Ramirez, tonight.  The rainout will also give the Phillies a chance to skip Ryan Madson's turn, which would be pushed back to Tuesday, if they want.  Yesterday's game has been rescheduled for September 2.

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