Casey Fossum is spending the weekend at Bank One Ballpark, throwing a bullpen session under the watch of Diamondbacks coaches and having his surgically repaired shoulder checked out by team doctors.
It is possible that the lefthander, who has been terrific in a rehabilitation assignment at Class AAA Tucson, soon could be at BOB full time.
Should No. 3 starter Elmer Dessens continue to struggle — he is slated to start against the New York Mets on Tuesday — Fossum, who is 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA for the Sidewinders, is the probable replacement in the rotation.
"I feel 100 percent," Fossum said Saturday, a day after throwing six shutout innings at Fresno. "I felt good before, but this time I had normal, maybe above normal velocity on my fastball."
Fossum will throw on the side today or Monday and is scheduled to take the mound for Tucson on Wednesday. Should Dessens have another rough outing and Arizona makes a change, Fossum could abbreviate his stint on Wednesday and pitch for the D-Backs against Montreal on May 16.
Manager Bob Brenly said plans for Fossum have yet to be determined.
"We don’t know at this point," Brenly said. "But it sounds like everything is fine with him."
Acquired from Boston in the Curt Schilling trade, Fossum consistently hit 90 mph into the sixth inning on Friday. He threw 81 pitches, then 15 more in the bullpen.
"I feel I’m ready now, but I might need to get stretched out more," Fossum said. "We’ll see."
With utilityman Donnie Sadler’s right hamstring well enough to make him usable, Arizona did not need rookie infielder Scott Hairston, who was optioned to Tucson less than 24 hours after his bigleague debut.
Right-handed reliever Brian Bruney, who was 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA for the Sidewinders, was recalled. The D-Backs’ minor-league pitcher of the year in 2003, Bruney is considered a future closer.
"We’re not sure exactly how we’ll use Brian yet, but like the other rookies we’ve called up, we’re just telling him to be ready," Brenly said.
Brenly defended his decision to pull Randy Johnson in the seventh inning on Friday after he gave up a game-tying home run to Jim Thome and walked a batter.
Philadelphia finished the inning with three runs. Johnson, who threw 99 pitches, questioned the move afterward.
The manager reiterated that he felt the Big Unit was tiring. Also, the next two Phillies hitters, David Bell and Jimmy Rollins, came into the game with career averages of .348 and .385, respectively, against Johnson.
"That’s the history, and those are the things you take into consideration," Brenly said. "Given that and (reliever Mike) Koplove’s ability to get us out of jams, I felt it was the right time."
On Friday, Hairston pinch-hit in the ninth inning against Philadelphia closer Billy Wagner. In an atbat that included a 100-mph pitch from the fire-balling left-hander, Hairston struck out.
"It was tough coming off the bench to face a guy like that," Hairston said. "I’ve seen 98 but never seen 100. But from the left side, every pitch looked like 100. I was just hoping to make contact."
Philadelphia placed infielder Placido Polanco, who strained his left quadriceps muscle during Friday’s contest, on the 15-day disabled list and recalled infielder Chase Utley from AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre.