Dubee: Happ could miss next start with forearm soreness

Phillies' pitcher J.A. Happ is suffering from forearm stiffness and could land on the DL. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

Lefthander J.A. Happ could miss his next start with left forearm soreness, Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said Sunday morning.

Happ lightly tossed for about 10 minutes in short right field before Sunday's game with Dubee intently watching. Happ stopped throwing and chatted with Dubee for about two minutes before heading inside. Dubee said Happ did not experience any soreness during the light toss on flat ground.

Happ has not being doing his regular side work, Dubee said. That leaves Wednesday's scheduled start against Atlanta up in the air.

"We're not sure," Dubee said.

CSNPhilly.com first reported the injury Saturday night.

Dubee said he found out about the soreness during Happ's start. But catcher Carlos Ruiz said he wasn't aware of any issues until Sunday. And manager Charlie Manuel didn't know during the game either. Before Friday's game, Manuel had a talk with Happ in the clubhouse, encouraging the pitcher to come talk to him because "his door is always open."

"J.A. doesn't necessarily like to tell you," Manuel said Sunday.

Happ declined to comment before Sunday's game.

Manuel said, from the way he understands it, Happ experienced the soreness early in his start but the pain lessened as the game continued. Dubee echoed those sentiments. Happ walked six batters in 5 1/3 innings and allowed only one unearned run.

Happ's average fastball velocity in his last start was 88.07 m.p.h., according to pitch data from Major League Baseball. His average velocity on April 9 against Houston was 89.62 m.p.h.

The soreness could have been a factor in the slight decrease.

"That might be part of it," he said.

Dubee pointed out that different pitchers will go through stages of "dead arm periods" early in the season.

"These guys aren't machines," Dubee said. "The same thing doesn't come out of their arm each time."

But the Phillies are taking precautions with Happ. Dubee and Manuel both said they do not have to make a decision yet on Happ's Wednesday start. Because of the off day Monday, Happ could be skipped in the rotation and everyone else would stay on regular rest.

"We're playing it by ear," Dubee said.