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Amaro says little about Doc; Dubee happy with pitcher's progress

Amaro chose to say little Roy Halladay's performance. Initially, in fact, he said he would not talk about it until Sunday. Then the general manager offered eight words about Halladay: "He was OK. He got his work in."

Amaro says little about Doc; Dubee happy with pitcher's progress

Roy Halladay delivers in the second inning of in their spring training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Clearwater, Fla., Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (Kathy Willens/AP)
Roy Halladay delivers in the second inning of in their spring training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Clearwater, Fla., Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (Kathy Willens/AP)

UPDATED WITH RICH DUBEE QUOTES AND GAME STUFF

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had a rooftop seat at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater for Roy Halladay's performance against Toronto Blue Jays minor-leaguers Saturday morning. He had a front-row seat next to the visiting dugout for his team's game in the afternoon at Ed Smith Field.

Not sure which view was better, but the results were certainly more pleasing for the Phillies in the Grapefruit League game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Halladay allowed seven hits and three runs -- two earned -- in four innings. He walked two batters, hit another and struck out one while throwing 81 pitches. Reports from Clearwater were that his velocity sat mostly between 86 and 89 miles per hour and that only one batter swung and missed.

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Amaro chose to say little about the performance. Initially, in fact, he said he would not talk about it until Sunday.

Then the general manager offered eight words about Halladay: "He was OK. He got his work in."

Pitching coach Rich Dubee also witnessed Halladay's outing before driving to Sarasota. He was encouraged with the outing.

"After what he's gone through, he was fine," Dubee said. "I'm not looking for results right now. The good part was he threw 80 pitches, he felt strong and felt like he could have thrown more. The arm slot was fine. He's a ways from repeating it. Do you see anybody at their level yet? He's not where he's going to be yet.

"But I thought the velocity for not having pitched was good. He sat 88 to 90 consistently and finished the game at 89 almost 80 pitches into it. So arm-strength wise, that was good and he feels like there is more there. I think the more we get it right, the more it will come out."

Meanwhile, Aaron Cook continued to make his case for a spot on the pitching staff, if not in the rotation should Halladay be unable to open the season. Halladay, for the record, said he felt fine and that he would be ready to pitch April 3 against the Atlanta Braves.

Cook, on a day the wind was howling to left field, retired the first six batters he faced and allowed just two runs on four hits in 4 2/3 innings. The Phillies, thanks to two home runs by Chase Utley and one each from Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown, had a 10-2 lead when Cook left the game. They finished with five home runs and won 13-4.

"I felt really good," Cook said. "I felt like I was keeping the ball down, especially on a day when the wind is blowing like it is. I had to focus a little bit harder, but I was able to use all my pitches, which I was really happy with. My cutter was there, my slider was there."

Cook used a nasty slider to strike out Adam Jones in the second inning.

"He was aggressive and did a good job," manager Charlie Manuel said. "It's the best he has looked all spring."

If the Phillies do not add Cook to the 40-man roster by Tuesday, he can ask for his release or receive a $100,000 retention bonus for accepting an assignment to triple-A Lehigh Valley.

"We’re getting to the point where there’s less than a week left, but I’ve always been the type of guy who doesn’t worry about things I can’t control," Cook said. "I go out there and pitch, have fun and let things work themselves out. That’s the position I’m in right now. I’m just going to wait and see what happens. I went out there today and did what I was supposed to do and whenever they decide to have a meeting or whatever, I’ll figure it out then."

Cook said he has not paid much attention to Halladay's spring-training results even though they often talk in the clubhouse.

"I don’t have any clue about what happened today," he said. "We sit two lockers away and we talk, but I think we talk more about non-baseball stuff than we do baseball stuff. Everybody has their own situations that will play out by the end of next week. There are things I can control and things I can’t control. What I can control is being prepared and going out there and doing my job. Everything else is out of my hands."

Cook, 34, said he feels as though he has proven he still belongs in the big leagues.

"I’m healthy, I’m able to make pitches and I was able to get what I think is a pretty good lineup in the Baltimore Orioles out today," he said. "I’m confident in myself and my stuff and I think I can still do it."

Freddy steady in right

For the first time this spring, Manuel played Freddy Galvis in right field, a likely sign that the Phillies are trying to figure out how to keep infielder Yuniesky Betancourt, who hit a three-run home run in Saturday's win.

The deadline for adding Betancourt to the 25-man roster is Sunday. His agent Alex Esteban said Friday Betancourt will ask for his release if he is not added to the roster.

"I just wanted to put him there," Manuel said. "I put him there because I wanted to see him play it. I watch him in practice every day and he always catches fly balls in practice. I like the way he runs after the ball, so I put him out there and we'll see."

Galvis handled the only fly ball hit his way.

Game stuff. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Michael Young and Dom Brown all had two hits in the Phillies' win over the O's. Brown's home run was his seventh of the spring and Howard's was his sixth.

"If we get five home runs every night, we'll be a happy team," Manuel said.

 



Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
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