Must C Catch: Wells robs a homer in the eighth

ATLANTA -- Ah, the glamorous life of a big leaguer.

The Mariners designated outfielder Casper Wells for assignment on March 31. The Blue Jays claimed him on April 10, designated him for assignment on April 15 and traded him to the A's on April 22 for cash considerations. The A's designated him for assignment on April 28 and traded him to the White Sox for cash considerations the following day.

He remained with the White Sox until the Phillies claimed him on Thursday.

"These things happen," said Wells, who started for the Phillies for the first time on Tuesday night against the Braves at Turner Field. "I never expected this year to go the way it has; it just goes to show you anything can happen. You have to believe everything happens for a reason -- for a positive reason, too. I'm here on the club, there's nowhere I'd rather be than here. That's the kind of mind-set I have."

For the Phillies, the final few weeks of the season will be about evaluation. They said last week that they have liked Wells for some time because he can play everywhere in the outfield and has the ability to hit home runs. So if he does enough in these final few weeks, the Phillies could bring him back next season as a reserve outfielder.

"I just want to, first and foremost, be in the big leagues. Wherever," he said. "I'm not in the position to say I want to be in one [position]. Obviously, it's comforting in one spot, I'm sure, but I've always prepared for all areas. It makes me a little more versatile."

"I think he has to play," manager Charlie Manuel said. "He has to get some playing time. We have to find a way to get him in there whenever we can."

If Wells shows that versatility, maybe he can open Spring Training with the Phillies next year in Clearwater, Fla., then break camp with the big league club.

And maybe then he can get a little more comfortable.

Wells kept his things packed in his truck in Arizona early this season because he saw no reason to send the truck anywhere. He finally dispatched it to Chicago in June.

And now?

"It's on its way to Philly, with everything in it," he said.

Numbers don't tell story of Hamels' recovery

PHI@ATL: Hamels strikes out nine in complete-game win

ATLANTA -- Those who have asked if left-hander Cole Hamels can bounce back next season can relax.

He already has.

Hamels is 3-2 with a 1.98 ERA in eight starts since the end of June. His ERA ranks 10th out of 93 qualifying pitchers in that span. His 1.00 WHIP is 13th. His 5.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio is fourth.

Of course, not everybody has noticed, because Hamels is 5-13 with a 3.65 ERA overall. His 13 losses tie him with Angels right-hander Joe Blanton and Astros right-hander Lucas Harrell for the most in baseball, which should be an excellent reminder that a starter's record is often a highly inaccurate gauge of his abilities and effectiveness.

Hamels' 3.33 run-support average is 85th out of 90 qualifying pitchers, which tells the story about his record as much as anything.

"I think it's difficult to describe because of some of the things that have happened to him," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Sometimes we haven't gotten runs for him, and other times I felt like we did and things happened. ... The whole environment speaks for itself. I feel like he's very capable of having his season reversed, really. I look at him as still a good pitcher, a big-time starter."

Manuel 59th skipper with 1,000 wins

PHI@ATL: Manuel notches his 1,000th win as a manager

ATLANTA -- Charlie Manuel became the 59th manager in baseball history to win 1,000 games when the Phillies beat the Braves on Monday. He is one of eight active skippers with 1,000, joining Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy, Terry Francona, Davey Johnson, Jim Leyland, Mike Scioscia and Buck Showalter.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Manuel has the 19th-best winning percentage (.548) among managers with 10 or more seasons of experience.