CLEARWATER, Fla. — Jose Contreras is not scheduled to pitch in another Grapefruit League game. Instead, he'll pitch in a minor-league game Wednesday, Saturday and then next Tuesday.
Why the switch for a guy the Phillies want a close look at? Well, major-league rules dictate the earliest a club may backdate a placement on the 15-day disabled list is Monday, March 26. Contreras last pitched in a Grapefruit League game Sunday (the 25th).
The Phillies are fairly confident Contreras will be ready for opening day April 5, but are aware he may require a few more days to build arm strength. So rather than keep resetting his disabled list clock, they will prevent him from facing big-league hitters.
This way, if Contreras must start the season on the DL, he can be activated April 10. He'd only miss four regular-season games if that were the case.