Phillies Notes: Soreness in Pettibone's right shoulder returns

Jonathan Pettibone is feeling pain in the shoulder that sidelined him in 2013.
Jonathan Pettibone is feeling pain in the shoulder that sidelined him in 2013. (DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer)
Posted: February 18, 2014

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Jonathan Pettibone leaned against a wall Sunday morning with Cole Hamels and Mike Adams while their pitching group threw bullpen sessions. It was a foreboding sign of trouble later confirmed by general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.

There is soreness in Pettibone's right shoulder, a concern early this spring because the same injury cost Pettibone the final two months of his rookie season in 2013.

"We don't want to mess with him," Amaro said. "We backed him off. It's something similar to what he had last year. We're just trying to nip it in the bud. He had some soreness so we decided to slow him down."

Pettibone, 23, expressed a modicum of optimism Sunday. He said he hopes to return to full activity in "a few days." He is taking anti-inflammatory drugs.

"It's kind of the early stages of what happened last year," Pettibone said, "so it's good that we stopped it early."

Pettibone threw bullpens for two or three weeks in Florida before the soreness recurred. He figures to be the odd man out in the rotation picture, but a spot could be needed during the first few weeks of April while Hamels continues to build arm strength following a biceps tendinitis injury.

The Phillies do not possess extensive starting-pitching depth. Pettibone made 18 starts last season with a 4.04 ERA. Miguel Gonzalez or Ethan Martin could become the temporary fifth starter if the Phillies are without Hamels and Pettibone to start the season.

Giles impresses

The talk of camp after the morning bullpen sessions was Kenny Giles, a 23-year-old righthanded reliever who throws 100 m.p.h. Amaro and other team executives focused on Giles while six other pitchers threw.

When Giles finished, Amaro asked catcher Cameron Rupp for an evaluation.

"He's got some hair on it," Rupp said. "He can put it where he wants it."

Amaro nodded.

"Very impressive," he said.

Giles has never pitched above single A and was limited to 24 games because of two oblique injuries last season. His ERA there was 6.31, but he could quickly rise.

Extra bases

The Phillies designated Joe Savery for assignment to clear space for A.J. Burnett on the 40-man roster. Savery, the team's first-round pick (19th overall) in 2007, posted a 3.15 ERA in 20 innings last season.

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