Phillies Notes: Mike Stutes among Phillies' first cuts

"It depends on the way you lose," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said after his team was humiliated by the O's.
"It depends on the way you lose," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said after his team was humiliated by the O's. (AP)
Posted: March 10, 2014

CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Phillies demoted seven players to minor-league camp Saturday, and none owned a track record longer than Mike Stutes'. The 27-year-old righthander was among the team's first cuts after three disappointing Grapefruit League appearances.

"I didn't expect it to be first round," Stutes said. "My last couple outings weren't what I was expecting and weren't what they needed to be. I'm just kind of getting ready to get my body back to where I need it to be to get people out."

Stutes' fastball rarely topped 88 m.p.h. He permitted seven earned runs on five hits and three walks in three innings. Stutes missed significant time in each of the last two seasons with shoulder ailments.

He professed health last week, but when asked Saturday whether his shoulder is totally healed, Stutes said: "I'll pass on that one."

"Some guys it takes longer in spring training to get where he's supposed to get," pitching coach Bob McClure said. "We're running out of innings, and I just didn't see it yet. That's not to say it's not going to come. We'll just have to see."

The Phillies optioned righthander Luis Garcia, too. He pitched in 24 games for the Phillies in 2013, but looked erratic this spring. Lefthander Jesse Biddle; outfielders Aaron Altherr, Leandro Castro, and Kelly Dugan; and catcher Sebastian Valle were reassigned to minor-league camp.

Next for Biddle

Biddle's spring with the big club ended after two lackluster outings. The invitation to big-league camp was designed to educate the team's top pitching prospect, and the 22-year-old believes it helped.

"There are little things in my mind that are clicking and reminding me that I can have some success at this level," Biddle said. "That's the plan, to figure out what it takes to be a big-league pitcher. I think I am figuring that out."

The Germantown Friends graduate allowed two sixth-inning runs Saturday. He could begin 2014 where last season ended, at double-A Reading.

"He handled himself very well," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He's a young professional already. I know he had a good experience as far as getting a taste of it."

Extra bases

Sandberg said Friday's game, a 15-4 loss to Baltimore, "wasn't acceptable." So he had his team practice harder prior to Saturday's 11-3 victory over Houston. "We need to do some work, and I wanted to get that message across with a gamelike drill with guys running the bases and sliding and repeating plays and stressing fundamental baseball," Sandberg said. . . . Righthander Jeff Manship, one of the candidates for the fifth- starter's job, will start Sunday against Minnesota. . . . More than 40 Phillies alumni were honored in a pregame ceremony. Darren Daulton, battling brain cancer, took a lap around the stadium on the Phanatic's ATV.

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