Phillies Notebook: Buchanan eager to follow advice of his elders

Posted: March 13, 2014

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - David Buchanan was one of the final players added to the Phillies' spring-training roster this winter.

Two months later, the 24-year-old righthander is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, at least until lefthander Cole Hamels is healthy and strong enough to pitch again. Buchanan helped himself yesterday afternoon, blanking the Braves for three innings in the Phillies' 9-1 loss.

Facing most of Atlanta's regular lineup - B.J. Upton was the only name missing - Buchanan limited Atlanta to a hit and a walk.

"I grew up watching these guys," said Buchanan, a Georgia native. "They have an outstanding lineup. I knew it was going to be a fun time when I went out there."

Buchanan has allowed one earned run in three games (six innings) this spring. He credits his success in part to the voices that remain in his head since his days in minor league camp. Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay were among the major leaguers who visited the minor leaguers in recent springs, offering advice.

"Coming up, Cliff and all of those guys who came over to the minor league side always said the biggest thing in pitching is confidence," Buchanan said. "That's something you have to have. I've been trying to build that within myself. I asked Cliff, 'How do you have the confidence that you have?' He just said it's something you have to believe in. So I always believe I can get any hitter out.

"But at the same time, I know there are good hitters I'm going to have to battle and earn it. That's where most of my work ethic comes from. That's one thing Halladay said, he said he knew every time he went out there, he worked so hard that he had no doubts. He knew that he did everything he could do to prepare. So if you can do all you can do, that's all you can ask from yourself."

Stutes outrighted

The Phillies outrighted reliever Michael Stutes off the 40-man roster yesterday morning.

Stutes, who has battled shoulder injuries in the last two seasons, cleared waivers and is in minor league camp in Clearwater. The Phillies made the clerical move to open up a spot on the 40-man roster.

There are 39 players on that roster, leaving a spot open for a nonroster player competing for a major league job this spring. Among those players: Buchanan, fellow pitchers Shawn Camp, Jeff Manship and Sean O'Sullivan and outfielders Tony Gwynn Jr. and Bobby Abreu.

Stutes, 27, went 6-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 57 games as a rookie in 2011. But he has appeared in 22 major league games in the last 2 years.

Stutes allowed seven runs on five hits and three walks in three games (three innings) before being sent to minor league camp over the weekend.

Mixed emotions

Ryan Buchter glanced around the Braves clubhouse yesterday morning before acknowledging he went to the 2008 World Series parade as a fan. A day earlier, he couldn't believe he was meeting Bobby Abreu.

Buchter, a native of Blackwood, N.J., is in major league camp with Atlanta for the second straight spring. The 27-year-old lefthander struck out Domonic Brown in a shutout inning against the Phillies in Clearwater on Monday.

"Last year, I went [to Clearwater] for the first time and looked around and thought, 'This is awesome,' " said Buchter, a 2005 graduate of Highland Regional High School.

Buchter is hoping to gain a role someday as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen and join an impressive list of fellow South Jerseyans who have made it to the big leagues in the last half decade, including rookie of the year winners Mike Trout (Millville) and Andrew Bailey (Paul VI), Zach Braddock (Gloucester Catholic) and Oakland lefthanded setup man Sean Doolittle (Shawnee).

The Washington Nationals' 33rd-round pick in 2005, Buchter struck out 103 batters in 62 innings at Triple A Gwinnett in 2013. He also walked 51 batters.


Cole Hamels will reboot his throwing program this morning when he pitches in a side bullpen session. It will be the first time Hamels has thrown off the mound since March 1. Hamels, who entered camp behind schedule after dealing with biceps tendinitis in November, said he was fatigued and not strong enough to face hitters last Thursday . . . A.J. Burnett will face the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota for the second time in 6 days this afternoon. Burnett allowed six runs on seven hits in three innings of a 15-4 loss on Friday. Roberto Hernandez will follow tomorrow at home against the New York Yankees . . . Kyle Kendrick was scheduled to pitch in a minor league game in Clearwater yesterday but was scratched with the flu. Kendrick could pitch today.

On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21


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