Phillies Notebook: Buchanan won't start for Phillies on Saturday

Posted: April 11, 2014

IN THE final days of spring training, David Buchanan was told he wouldn't be on the 25-man Opening Day roster but was given a decent consolation prize.

Buchanan was scheduled to throw in the final exhibition game at Citizens Bank Park, where he'd never pitched, and he also had a good chance to jump into the rotation when the Phillies needed a fifth starter in mid-April. But that exhibition game was rained out and Buchanan won't be in South Philly this weekend, either.

He's a victim of bad luck and unfortunate timing.

Before last night's game against Milwaukee, manager Ryne Sandberg ruled out Buchanan as a candidate for Saturday's game against Miami. The 24-year-old Buchanan, who made a strong impression this spring, threw 93 pitches in Triple A Lehigh Valley's 7-2 loss to Buffalo on Tuesday night.

The Phillies likely will send fellow Lehigh Valley righthander Jonathan Pettibone to the mound on Saturday, although the team wasn't officially ready to make the announcement yesterday afternoon.

"I have someone in my mind," Sandberg said before pregame batting practice.

Pettibone was thought to be a bit of a longshot a month ago since he was dealing with shoulder issues at the outset of camp; he missed the final 2 months of last season with a shoulder injury. Pettibone did not pitch in a Grapefruit League game until the team's final day in Clearwater.

But since he was progressing steadily as camp neared an end, Pettibone was considered a candidate. He would now seem to be an obvious choice.

Pettibone allowed three runs on four hits while striking out two and walking one in five innings Sunday at Pawtucket. His next scheduled start at Triple A would be Saturday.

Pettibone went 5-4 with a 4.04 ERA in 18 starts with the Phillies as a rookie last season.

The only other possible option the Phillies have is Jeff Manship, who had a 1.80 ERA in six games (four starts) in spring training. But Manship opened the season in the Phillies' bullpen, where Sandberg likes his versatility.

"He's a luxury right now in the bullpen with the two-innings, three-innings possibilities, a length guy," Sandberg said. "He's that guy in our 'pen right now and he did a nice job in Chicago in that role."

Manship made two appearances out of the 'pen at Wrigley Field last weekend; he threw two shutout innings on Sunday. If Manship were to start Saturday, Sandberg said he could throw a maximum of three innings.

The Phillies will only need a fifth starter until Cole Hamels is ready to return, which could be as soon as April 22.

Utley, Asche out

Chase Utley was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game with flu symptoms.

But after being sent home on Tuesday afternoon, Utley was at the ballpark last night and available to pinch-hit. Sandberg was hopeful that Utley, who first felt ill last Friday in Chicago, would be over his illness and ready to jump back into the lineup tonight.

Cody Asche also was out of the lineup. Asche tweaked a hamstring injury on Tuesday, Sandberg said.

"Nothing major at all," Sandberg said of Asche, who took pregame work at third base. "He had it toward the last part of spring training. It was just a one-day-off type of a thing that went a long way with him in the spring."

Asche entered the game as a defensive replacement at third base in the top of the ninth and doubled in his only at-bat in the bottom of the inning.

Phillers

Mike Adams (shoulder) pitched an inning of relief at Class A Clearwater yesterday afternoon, marking the first time he's pitched on back-to-back days in 2014. Adams could join the Phillies before the end of the current 10-game homestand, although Sandberg wouldn't put a timetable on his return. "Everything's positive with him," Sandberg said . . . Freddy Galvis (knee infection) made his second straight start at Clearwater. Sandberg said Galvis is also continuing to get at-bats in extended spring-training games. Galvis could rejoin the Phillies before the end of the weekend . . . Ryan Braun joined some elite company with his monster afternoon at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday, when he hit three home runs in the Brewers' win. Braun entered last night hitting .405 with 10 home runs and 21 RBI in 20 career games at Citizens Bank Park. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other players in major league history who have hit at least .400 with 10 home runs and 20 RBI in their first 20 games at a stadium are Joe DiMaggio (Sportsman's Park, St. Louis), Willie Mays (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum), Mike Piazza (Coors Field) and Carlos Delgado (the Kingdome).

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