Phillies Notebook: Phillies' righthander Gonzalez out with sore shoulder

Posted: March 14, 2014

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez was in street clothes when he walked out of Bright House Field at 10:40 a.m. yesterday. Although it was his day to pitch, Gonzalez was not headed to the Phillies' exhibition game in Sarasota.

The Cuban righthander has a sore pitching shoulder.

"He had some anterior soreness in his shoulder yesterday after throwing long- toss," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "So we just pushed him back. Hopefully it's only a day or so."

The rookie was checked out by the medical staff yesterday.

"Nothing alarming," Amaro said. "He felt better today."

Amaro believes Gonzalez will be able to pitch in a game before the weekend. He said it was a "day-to-day" situation.

Gonzalez was signed to a 3-year, $12 million deal as a free agent in August. Gonzalez and the Phillies initially agreed to a $48 million deal 5 weeks earlier, but the dollar figure dropped significantly after the righthander's physical exam.

The Phillies signed Gonzalez with the expectation that he'd be in their rotation to begin the 2014 season, but his progress has been slow since joining the organization. He was limited to one bullpen session upon arrival to Clearwater last fall.

This spring, Gonzalez has looked rusty, beginning with his first side bullpen sessions last month. He has allowed five runs on six hits and six walks in two Grapefruit League games.

Gonzalez last pitched on Friday in Sarasota.

Gonzalez, 27, pitched sparingly in games in the last 2 to 3 years. He had bone chips removed from his elbow in January 2012 and also served a suspension from his Cuban team after a failed defection.

Gonzalez had tightness in his arm earlier this spring.

Fifth starter?

In addition to Cole Hamels, Jonathan Pettibone and Mike Adams both threw off the mound yesterday morning. Both faced hitters in live batting practice sessions at Bright House Field.

It was the second time Pettibone faced hitters. Pettibone's next step could be to jump into a game, whether it's in the Grapefruit schedule or in minor league camp.

Although pitchers generally need a month of game time before they're ready for the regular season, Pettibone is hoping he'll come along "sooner than that."

With Hamels out of the rotation for the first half of April, the Phillies are one starter short in a five-man rotation that includes Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, Kyle Kendrick and Roberto Hernandez. Since there are 2 off days within the first 8 days of the regular season, the Phillies do not need a fifth starter until April 13.

Pettibone believes he can be ready by then. "That'd be perfect," he said, "if everything works out."

After going 5-4 with a 4.04 ERA in 18 starts as a rookie last summer, everything hasn't exactly worked out for Pettibone in the last 6 months. So it's far from a done deal that he will continue to progress without a setback. Pettibone missed the last 2 months of the 2013 season with shoulder pain; he was shut down shortly after workouts began last month.

Adams progressing

Mike Adams, meanwhile, is likely to pitch another live batting practice session before jumping into a Grapefruit League game next week. Adams, entering the second year of a 2-year, $12 million deal, had shoulder surgery on July 31.

"Every time I go out there, I feel a little bit better," the veteran set-up man said. "The strength is there."

Adams isn't expected to be ready by Opening Day, as he would need around eight to 10 outings of game action between the Grapefruit League schedule and extended spring.

Phillers

Kyle Kendrick allowed one earned run on six hits in five innings of a minor league intrasquad game yesterday afternoon. Kendrick struck out six without issuing a walk. Kendrick had been previously scheduled to pitch on Tuesday, but was dehydrated after having flu-like symptoms on Monday. He could make his next start on St. Patrick's Day, Monday against the Baltimore Orioles at Bright House Field . . . Roberto Hernandez will make his fourth start of the spring when the Phillies host the Yankees today (1:05 p.m., TCN). Hernandez, who signed a 1-year, $4.5 million deal as a free agent, has allowed three runs in 8 2/3 innings while striking out seven and walking four in three games . . . Non-roster pitcher Jeff Manship is scheduled to start tomorrow's game in Bradenton against the Pirates. Manship, who could compete for the vacant fifth starter's job, has allowed one run in eight innings (three games) while striking out six and walking one.


On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21

Blog: ph.ly/HighCheese

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