Sandberg continues to be impressed with Buchanan

David Buchanan throws the ball against the Toronto Blue Jays in a split squad spring training exhibition game. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Even on a day in which he served consecutive home runs on back-to-back pitches, righthander David Buchanan continued to show positives for the Phillies. Buchanan allowed two runs in four innings during Thursday’s 3-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Bright House Field.

The two runs came on back-to-back home runs by Moises Sierra and former Phillies catcher Erik Kratz in the second inning.

Sierra hit an 0-2 hanging changeup.

“It was an OK pitch but I have to get it down a little bit,” said the 24-year-old Buchanan who spent last year at Reading and then Lehigh Valley.

Kratz hit a first-pitch cutter and after that Buchanan didn’t allow a hit. Buchanan struck out six, walked one. He now has a 2.70 ERA in four spring outings covering 10 innings.

For a non-roster invitee he has made the most of his time with the Phillies. Since the Phillies won’t need a fifth starter until April 14, it may be difficult for him to make the team out of spring training, but he’s still here.

When asked after the game that if he goes with a four-man rotation to start the season, would Buchanan still have a chance to make the team, manager Ryne Sandberg didn’t dismiss the notion

“It is a possibility he would be a candidate for something like that,” Sandberg said. “A guy early in the season who can go a good 2-3 innings is a valuable guy.”

Whether he goes or stays, Buchanan has clearly impressed Sandberg.

“He mixes his pitches real well, that is one of the things he does,” Sandberg said. “He was a little bit up today compared to his other outings but he was still effective with the mixture of the pitches he was throwing.”

Buchanan says every day he stays with the Phillies, he learns so much and says this has been a memorable experience.

 “I am having a blast doing what I am doing regardless what happens,” Buchanan said. “I have had a great time and will continue to enjoy it until the day comes when they tell me where I am going.”