Mathieson among first cuts

Scott Mathieson (right) was among the first players reassigned to minor league camp today. (Ron Cortes/Staff file photo)

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A small surprise this morning in Phillies camp: Scott Mathieson, who was looking to fill one of the final bullpen spots, was among the first players reassigned to minor league camp today.

Mathieson, who has had two Tommy John surgeries, was a feel-good story coming into camp. During his return to action last season, he routinely hit high 90s with his fastball. But his secondary pitches -- especially his slider -- have needed work. And the Phillies have been concerned about his relative lack of innings last season.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. reiterated all those points this morning when asked about Mathieson. Mathieson pitched 32 1/3 innings in the minors last season. He also pitched 12 2/3 innings in the Arizona Fall League. Amaro didn't rule out Mathieson being a contributor this season at the big-league level, but the Phillies want him to log more time before that.

"He's a guy we didn't feel was going to be ready to go in April [for us] and be refined enough in his secondary stuff to be able to compete for a job at the big league level," Amaro said. "He's just a guy who needs to go out there and pitch."

Mathieson was not available for comment this morning.

Here are the other cuts:

RHP Phillippe Aumont
LHP Yohan Flande
RHP Drew Naylor
RHP J.C. Ramirez
RHP Jesus Sanchez
LHP Joe Savery
LHP Bill White

C Tuffy Goeswisch
C Kevin Nelson
C John Suomi
SS Freddy Galvis
OF Quintin Berry
OF Tyson Gillies

Most notably missing from that list is Domonic Brown, who will stay in major-league camp for the time being. Obviously, the Phillies want to see him as long as they can before sending him down.

The cuts leave the camp roster at 44 players.


The Twins are in town for a 1 p.m. game and the Phillies will send out their everyday lineup for the first time this spring.

1. Jimmy Rollins 6
2. Placido Polanco 5
3. Chase Utley 4
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Jayson Werth 9
6. Raul Ibanez 7
7. Shane Victorino 8
8. Ben Francisco DH
9. Carlos Ruiz 2

J.A. Happ will start.


With the rainouts yesterday messing up the Phillies' pitching schedule, the team added a B game with Toronto in Dunedin on Monday. And Jamie Moyer will once again start. Moyer's first two appearances of the spring have been against the Toronto B team. So will his third.

Moyer's first actual Grapefruit League appearance will come on March 20 when he pitches against Detroit in Lakeland, Fla. Roy Halladay will start that game and Moyer is scheduled to be the first reliever.


Closer Brad Lidge will throw his second batting practice session of the spring this morning. If all goes well, he said, he could be pitching in the B game on Monday against Toronto.

UPDATE (12:23 p.m.): Spoke to Lidge, he's all good to go for Monday. He thinks his game debut will be in a minor league game but isn't 100 percent sure yet. Lidge said his stuff felt even better today.

And a little more on J.C. Romero: He will throw breaking balls for the first time on Sunday. He threw 30 pitches in a bullpen session on Friday and even uncorked a few change-ups. His bullpen session on Sunday will be the first time he throws off a mound on just one day rest. So obviously there has been some progression, but even Romero says he's still unlikely for opening day. But at this point, a return may not be too long after April 5.