Phils lose two pitchers who might have helped

Posted: March 20, 2007

CLEARWATER, Fla. - While the Phillies are still waiting to see if they can make a trade to strengthen their relief corps before the season opens, the list of candidates to fill out the bullpen is slowly being whittled down.

The roster was reduced to 39 yesterday. Among the six moves were two pitchers who had been considered to have a chance to make the team.

Righthander Justin Germano, acquired from the Cincinnati Reds last July 31 for veteran lefthander Rheal Cormier, was claimed on waivers by the San Diego Padres and righthander Brian Sanches was optioned to Triple A Ottawa.

Infielder Danny Sandoval was also optioned while righthanders Kane Davis and Ryan Cameron and nonroster outfielder Randall Simon were reassigned to minor league camp.

The pitching math is likely to change between now and April 2, when the season opens against Atlanta at Citizens Bank Park, because the team is still carrying six starters: Brett Myers, Cole Hamels, Freddy Garcia, Jamie Moyer, Adam Eaton and Jon Lieber.

However, assuming lefthander Matt Smith makes the team, there appear to be four relievers vying for one remaining opening: lefthanders Fabio Castro and Eude Brito and righthanders Joe Bisenius and Clay Condrey.

Germano, 24, was originally drafted by the Padres in 2000. He had a 4.50 ERA in five spring appearances.

"I'm anxious to see what they've got in store for me," he said. "I thought I was right there [in the running for a spot on the Phillies' roster]. I thought it would come right down to the wire. But I was with the Padres for 5 years, so they know me well."

Union's due

Donald Fehr, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, made his annual visit to the Phillies' camp yesterday.

Since a new collective bargaining agreement was signed with a remarkable lack of enmity last fall, Fehr was relaxed as he fielded questions afterward.

One stubborn problem is that, after the union agreed to drug- testing and hope had arisen that the steroid controversy had at least been contained, the names of major leaguers Gary Matthews Jr. and David Bell have been linked to a new investigation into alleged performance-enhancing substances delivered by mail.

"All you can do is the best you can," Fehr said. "It's a balancing act between the right to privacy of individuals and trying to be sure players don't engage in inappropriate conduct. Again, you do the best you can. I think the [testing] plan is working well as far as we know."

Fehr was bullish on the success of the inaugural World Baseball Classic last March and thinks baseball will continue to expand internationally in years to come.

He even suggested that the possibility of a real World Series between the United States and Japanese champions is likely.

"Sooner or later it will be an idea whose time has come," Fehr said, citing the length of the season, timing, television rights and tradition as obstacles that will have to be overcome. "And if the WBC catches on, that only enhances the possibility."

Phillers

Lefthander Cole Hamels will pitch in a minor league game in St. Petersburg today instead of against the Yankees tonight at Legends Field in Tampa. The reason: Hamels (0-2, 7.00) wants to work on throwing pitches other than his changeup and to concentrate on using the inside part of the plate. "Pitching in a minor league game calms you down a little bit," he said . . . Zack Segovia will start against New York lefthander Kei Igawa. *

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