McClellan was surprised and upset by the decision, and La Russa said he understood the pitcher's frustration. He pointed out the Phillies' heavily left-handed lineup as a case for having McClellan on the roster, given that McClellan is more adept than most right-handed relievers at getting lefties out.
"I don't blame him for being upset," La Russa said. "I would [be], too. The concern is about him, and I've got to believe that sooner or later, he'll appreciate that we're more concerned about him than we are us, because he's a major weapon to lose out of that bullpen against these guys."
La Russa said that the club hopes that the rest could make McClellan fully available for a potential appearance in the NL Championship Series.