WASHINGTON -- The Phillies are desperate for a right-handed relief pitcher other than Jonathan Papelbon and Mike Adams to step up.
Maybe Ethan Martin can be the guy.
The Phillies have had right-handers Jeff Manship, Justin De Fratus, B.J. Rosenberg, Luis Garcia, Shawn Camp, Brad Lincoln and Phillippe Aumont pitch at various points this season. Only De Fratus remains from that group after being recalled May 25. The others have been optioned, released or injured. Martin, who started the season on the DL with inflammation in his right shoulder, rejoined the Phillies on Tuesday and pitched two scoreless innings in his 2014 debut.
"I'm glad to get back out there and I'm glad to be back up here," Martin said before Wednesday's game against the Nationals at Nationals Park.
Martin's velocity isn't where it was last year when he pitched out of the bullpen, but he believes it will return in time. He averaged 92.7 mph Tuesday, according to FanGraphs. He averaged 94.8 mph in seven relief appearances last season.
"It's been coming back," Martin said. "I would say it's gotten better every outing I've had. I don't think I've gone backwards. It's just slow. It's one thing they said, 'It's going to take a little bit of time to build it up.'"
Martin said his shoulder feels fine. In fact, he said he never felt pain at any point, even when he first noticed a steep drop in his velocity during Spring Training.
That is good news. The Phillies could use some consistency in their bullpen.
"Yeah, he can be looked at here to see how he does," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "Right now, he can be a candidate. There is an opportunity for him to show what he can do."
Ruf hurt, leaving organization thin at outfield depth
WASHINGTON -- The Phillies already lacked outfield depth in their system, and then they suffered another blow Tuesday when Triple-A outfielder Darin Ruf sprained his left wrist and bruised his right knee when he hit a concrete wall at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pa.
The knee injury required stitches and Ruf has been placed on the disabled list. It is unclear how much time he might miss, but should the Phillies lose an outfielder in the big leagues, there aren't many options to replace him.
"The timing wasn't ideal at all because, hopefully, Ruf was on his way to coming back after some at-bats down there," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "That's a tough break for everybody."
The Phillies have four Minor League outfielders on the 40-man roster in Aaron Altherr, Zach Collier, Kelly Dugan and Tyson Gillies, but they either are not performing or healthy or both. Lehigh Valley also has Leandro Castro, Cameron Perkins and Steve Susdorf on its roster.
They just promoted Perkins, who is one of their better prospects.
Lee day to day, but has not been cleared to throw
WASHINGTON -- Left-hander Cliff Lee remains day-to-day with a strained left elbow. He has not been cleared to begin his throwing program. He has not pitched since May 18. "The way that it's progressing, that's the good thing," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "The amount of time he has a chance to end up missing, it's going to be what it is. We have to fill that gap in the meantime."
Right-hander David Buchanan will remain in the rotation while Lee is out.
The Phillies plan to carry 13 pitchers for now. "That's a day-to-day thing," Sandberg said. "Possibly through this next two games here would help."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.