Phillies Notes: Manship still has shot at Phils' starting rotation

Phillies pitcher Jeff Manship has a shot at making the rotation. Yong Kim/Staff Photographer
Phillies pitcher Jeff Manship has a shot at making the rotation. Yong Kim/Staff Photographer
Posted: March 16, 2014

BRADENTON, Fla. - And the Phillies' fifth starter will be . . . Jeff Manship?

Maybe. A 29-year-old righthander with an undistinguished major-league career, Manship allowed two earned runs and six hits over four innings Friday in the Phillies' 6-5 loss to the Pirates, impressing manager Ryne Sandberg and pitching coach Bob McClure and continuing his strong spring training. He struck out three and didn't walk a batter.

"His control wasn't as good as it's been, and he showed me he could still pitch without having his best control," McClure said. "Those are the things you like to see."

Manship has a 2.45 earned-run average in 11 innings this spring. So many members of and candidates for the Phillies' rotation have been injured - Cole Hamels, Ethan Martin, Jonathan Pettibone, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez - that Manship might yet earn himself at least a temporary spot behind Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, Kyle Kendrick, and Roberto Hernandez.

"I still need to handle my business out there and throw well, but more opportunities are out there now," said Manship, who compiled a 6.42 ERA in 52 games for the Twins and Rockies over five seasons before signing a minor-league contract with the Phillies in December.

"It inspires me to work even harder to try to get one of those spots, because I know what's at stake right now."

Hamels set for Sunday

Unwilling to risk a setback as he rehabilitates his fatigued throwing shoulder, Cole Hamels will wait until Sunday to throw his next bullpen session.

Hamels previously threw Wednesday and said he recovered well from that session. He wants to stay "around 60 to 65 percent throwing" on Sunday, he said, "and then maybe going 70 to 75 percent on the last couple."

Given the gradual process of working his arm back into shape, Hamels isn't likely to return to the rotation until May. He first experienced the fatigue last Saturday. In November, he suffered biceps tendinitis.

"It's not fun when you're sitting back and you're not playing, especially when you have to be down here and rehab," Hamels said. "That's not the part that you cherish. That's not the reason I try to play baseball. It's to play up there in Philly and win ball games for them."

Roster moves

The Phillies made their second round of cuts Friday, a series of transactions that included the release of catcher Lou Marson.

Marson - a former Phillies prospect traded to the Indians in 2009, then re-signed last year - was a victim of a backlog at his position. Carlos Ruiz, Wil Nieves, and Cameron Rupp remain among the 44 players in major-league camp, and the Phillies reassigned Sebastian Valle to their roster Friday.

Another catching prospect, Tommy Joseph, was one of four players optioned to minor-league camp Friday. Lefthanded pitcher Jeremy Horst and outfielders Tyson Gillies and Zach Collier were the others.

Reassigned to minor-league camp were pitchers Cesar Jimenez and Ken Giles and infielder Andres Blanco.

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