PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Geoff Geary changed his appearance. His results stayed the same.
Once an integral part of Philadelphia's bullpen, the struggling reliever was sent to Triple-A Ottawa on Saturday. Geary's spot was taken by left-hander J.A. Happ, who made his major league debut starting against the NL East-leading New York Mets.
``It's probably for the better,'' Geary said. ``I've done everything I can here. Maybe going down will switch my mind-set a little bit.''
Frustrated by his poor performance, Geary recently cut his hair and shaved his face. It didn't help him get batters out consistently.
Geary was 1-1 with an 8.59 ERA in 12 games this month. Overall, he's 1-2 with a 5.31 ERA in 37 appearances this season. The right-hander was one of Philadelphia's most reliable relievers last year, going 7-1 with a 2.96 ERA and one save in 81 games.
``He did a great job in '06 and right now he's not at that point,'' general manager Pat Gillick said. ``He needs to go down and get straightened out. He has a few mechanical things to work on. He's not pitching as well as he's capable of. We're not in position where we can afford to have people work out their problems here.''
Early on, Geary was the one manager Charlie Manuel turned to in a jam. At one point, Geary had stranded 17 of 18 inherited runners. However, he allowed 10 of the next 17 runners inherited to score.
``I cut my hair. I shaved my face. It had nothing to do with my performance,'' Geary said. ``There's no reason to blame anybody but myself. It's my performance.''
The injury-riddled Phillies are trying to contend with a patchwork pitching staff. Happ was the sixth pitcher to make his big league debut for Philadelphia this season. The team is using three rookie starters in its pivotal four-game series against the Mets this weekend.
Starters Freddy Garcia (shoulder) and Jon Lieber (foot) both could be out the rest of the season. Closer Tom Gordon (shoulder) and started-turned-closer Brett Myers (shoulder) remain sidelined.
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