Phillies Notes: Gonzalez misses a start with arm soreness

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has a 16.87 ERA.    Staff photo
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has a 16.87 ERA.    Staff photo
Posted: March 14, 2014

SARASOTA, Fla. - The chances of Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez's filling a much-needed rotation spot in April were dimmed by his drab spring performances.

Gonzalez's immediate fate - a trip to the minors - was all but sealed Wednesday when he did not board a bus to Ed Smith Stadium with his Phillies teammates.

The $12 million import from Cuba was scratched from his third scheduled Grapefruit League appearance because of right shoulder soreness. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Gonzalez could return this week.

Phillies doctors examined the righthander earlier in the week.

"We're always concerned about guys who are sore," Amaro said. "But that's all it is right now. He is day-to-day."

Gonzalez, 27, is still adapting to the differences in training between Cuban and American baseball, specifically the rigors of arm and shoulder strengthening. He is the latest in a litany of Phillies starters who succumbed to a shoulder ailment; Cole Hamels, Jonathan Pettibone, Ethan Martin, and Adam Morgan are sidelined with varying degrees of severity.

Gonzalez's first two spring games yielded a 16.87 ERA. He allowed five runs in 22/3 innings. He failed to control his fastball and issued six walks.

The Phillies hope that Pettibone, recovering from shoulder soreness, can reinsert himself into the fifth-starter competition. The 23-year-old righthander threw 40 pitches to hitters in live batting practice Wednesday, and could pitch in a Grapefruit League game next week. Pettibone, though, will require time to build stamina.

The Phillies will not use a fifth starter until April 14, and Amaro would not yet include Pettibone as a candidate.

"Maybe," the GM said. "But we're just going to progress him at the rate he is able to go. We're not going to try to rush him. We'll see how he feels tomorrow. Hopefully, he has a chance to pitch in some games soon."

Rollins sits

Jimmy Rollins did not play Wednesday for the second consecutive day, and he is not scheduled to play Thursday. Freddy Galvis will start for the third straight game.

When asked about Rollins' status, Amaro said he was unaware of any health problems and referred the inquiry to Ryne Sandberg because the manager makes the lineup.

"He's fine," Sandberg said.

Galvis tripled in Wednesday's 6-5 win over Baltimore.

"Freddy's a guy that will get playing time at various positions," Sandberg said. "He's a guy that I like in the lineup. I felt good about what he brings to the table. The biggest thing I like is his energy and his positive influence - his positive influence on everyone around him."

When asked about Rollins' energy and influence, Sandberg said, "No comment."

Extra bases

Domonic Brown launched a bases-clearing triple to right in the first inning for his first hit in eight days. . . . Reliever Mike Adams, who will begin the season on the disabled list after shoulder surgery, faced hitters for the first time in live batting practice. He, too, could soon appear in a Grapefruit League game. . . . Kyle Kendrick pitched five innings in a minor-league intrasquad game. He struck out six.


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