Phillies Notebook: Adams hopeful of returning soon after promising outing

Posted: March 27, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. - A work in progress. That's the best way to describe Mike Adams after a couple of minor league outings and, after a scoreless inning in the Phillies' 6-0 win over the Yankees last night, one Grapefruit League appearance. But Adams showed plenty of promise that he will be able to help the Phillies' bullpen at some point in April.

"Overall, it went real well," Adams said after his first appearance against rival major league hitters since June.

Adams made it through an inning without allowing a run, striking out Mark Teixeira looking at a backdoor cutter for the final out of his frame.

Adams, who missed the last 3 1/2 months of last season with a shoulder injury that eventually required surgery, has said he hopes for a mid-April return, although that target is a soft one.

Adams allowed a couple of well-hit balls, both of which went for singles, by Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter. Adams' first couple of pitches registered 89 mph. For most of the inning, he sat around 87 on his fastball, a tick or two lower on his cutter. Last year, he was throwing 89 to 91.

"I don't think I'm going to be overpowering anybody," he said. "I have to keep the ball down, change speeds, try to outsmart the hitter."

Abreu agreeable

The Phillies needed a little more time to make a decision on Bobby Abreu, and the 40-year-old veteran was willing to give it to them. Abreu was back in the lineup last night after missing a couple of days with a sore left (non-throwing) shoulder. Abreu has had a solid spring at the plate, showing decent line-drive power (three doubles and a triple in 35 at-bats) to go with his usual patient approach (nine walks against four strikeouts). But he hasn't played in the majors since 2012, when he logged 257 plate appearances for the Angels and Dodgers, and the shoulder soreness raises some concern about how his body will hold up over the course of a 162-game season.

In the original terms of the minor league deal he signed, Abreu could opt out and become a free agent tomorrow if the team had yet to inform him he would start the season on its active roster. Now, the Phillies have until Sunday to inform him of their plans.

Buchanan in wings

One of the biggest surprises of the spring was the performance of 25-year-old righthander David Buchanan, who has worked his way into consideration for a major league start on April 13, when the Phillies will need a fifth starter for the first time.

Yesterday, the team informed Buchanan he would not be on the Opening Day roster but was still in consideration to join the rotation in mid-April. Buchanan will pitch behind Roberto Hernandez at Citizens Bank Park in an exhibition game against the Pirates on Saturday. Afterward, he will head to Triple A Lehigh Valley, where he will remain stretched out as a starter.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the Phillies hope righthander Jonathan Pettibone will be an option by April 13. Pettibone was sidelined with shoulder soreness early in camp that delayed his progress.

"[Buchanan] and Pettibone are both guys we feel could be ready for that," Amaro said. "We're hopeful that we can progress those guys so that whoever is pitching better at the time and is ready to go, that's how it will work."

Phillers

Chase Utley hit the ball hard last night in each of his first three at-bats, two of which resulted in flyouts to deep centerfield, another of which featured a foul ball hammered just to the right of the pole . . . Ryan Howard and Marlon Byrd both hit long home runs off Yankees lefty Vidal Nuno, a 26-year-old who was competing for the fifth spot in the rotation but is expected to start the season at Triple A . . . Newly acquired minor catcher Koyie Hill joined big-league camp yesterday, replacing catchers Cameron Rupp and Sebastian Valle, both of whom were sent back to the minor league side . . . Minor leaguer Hugo Arrocha was taken off the field at the Carpenter Complex in an ambulance after tripping and falling while running to first. Amaro said he is up and walking around, although there is still a possibility of some sort of spinal injury . . . The Phillies will not face Yu Darvish on Opening Day. The Rangers ace will have an MRI on his stiff neck. There is no word on whether he could pitch later in the series.


On Twitter: @ByDavidMurphy

Blog: ph.ly/HighCheese

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