Jonathan Pettibone shut down for cortisone injection

Phillies pitcher Jonathan Pettibone. (Ron Cortes/Staff file photo)

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Rest did not heal the soreness in Jonathan Pettibone's right shoulder, so the Phillies will inject him with cortisone. Pettibone will not throw for five days after the injection. The team hopes its 23-year-old starter can resume a normal program Saturday.

There could be a larger problem afoot if the soreness persists.

"I know that he was feeling better over the offseason," manager Ryne Sandberg said, "so we'll have to wait and see on that."

Pettibone is important to the Phillies, who are not blessed with a deep stockpile of starting pitching. They may need a fifth starter for April while Cole Hamels builds arm strength after biceps tendinitis. Pettibone, if healthy, could be that pitcher. He demonstrated competency in an 18-game rookie season.

Sandberg could look to Miguel Gonzalez, the $12 million import from Cuba, as an option. Ethan Martin is another possibility. Sandberg mentioned B.J. Rosenberg as another candidate.

The Phillies will use more than five starters in 2014. Pettibone is an important arm, regardless if the Phillies have April plans for him or not.

"With all of the exams they have done with him, they don't feel it warrants an MRI," Amaro said. "If he comes back and has more issues, maybe they will. Right now they don't think it is serious enough for an MRI."

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