UPDATE: 6:40 p.m.
Nothing to see here is what all parties say about Jayson Werth's absence from the Phillies line-up the past couple of days. Werth is the only position player from last year's postseason roster that has yet to appear in a Grapefruit League game, aside from injured veterans Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz. But manager Charlie Manuel, who has been questioned all day about Werth, emphatically said this evening that his starting right fielder is completely healthy.
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with him,” Manuel said. “There is absolutely zero wrong with him. He's been getting some hitting, he's just not ready to go yet. He'll play before the season starts.”
Werth also said he is healthy, as did general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.
So, Werth is healthy. Manuel said he'll likely be in the line-up Saturday against Tampa Bay.
“He's just not ready to go,” Manuel said. “He's just not ready to go yet. Swinging, running, everything. That happens a lot. It's no big deal. He's not a whole lot out of shape, just the way he's been going through it.”
There you have it.
Nothing to see.
It is only the first time through the rotation, but the competition for the fifth spot in the rotation got off to a sparkling start today as both righthander Carlos Carrasco and lefthander J.A. Happ breezed through their two innings of work, allowing one hit between them while combining to pitch four scoreless innings.
Carrasco was particularly impressive, striking out three of the six batters he faced. His only real hiccup came in the second inning, when Blue Jays right fielder Travis Snider smoked a line drive to deep right field that John Mayberry tracked down and made a leaping stab for the out.
Happ retired his first five batters before allowing a single to left field off the bat of Jose Bautista. He then retired Michael Barrett on a pop fly to center field to finish his inning allottment.
A few other updates through four innings:
Jason Ellison, a non-roster invitee who began his career in the Giants organization before moving on to stints with the Mariners and Rangers, led off the third inning with a base hit and eventually scored on a single by Jimmy Rollins.
Jayson Werth has already retired to the clubhouse, meaning he won't play in either of the first three Grapefruit League games. Werth isn't scheduled to make the trip to face the Reds in Sarasota tomorrow. Werth, Ruben Amaro Jr. and Charlie Manuel all said this morning that the right fielder isn't hurt.
"He isn't quite ready to play," Manuel said.