Saturday, December 27, 2014

All signs point to Jonathan Pettibone starting Saturday

Ryne Sandberg said he knows who will start Saturday for the Phillies, but he was not ready to reveal the decision Wednesday. All signs, nonetheless, point to Jonathan Pettibone earning the promotion.

All signs point to Jonathan Pettibone starting Saturday

Phillies pitcher Jonathan Pettibone pitched for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in a rehab game on April 1, 2014. (Ron Tarver/Staff Photographer)
Phillies pitcher Jonathan Pettibone pitched for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in a rehab game on April 1, 2014. (Ron Tarver/Staff Photographer)

Ryne Sandberg said he knows who will start Saturday for the Phillies, but he was not ready to reveal the decision Wednesday. All signs, nonetheless, point to Jonathan Pettibone earning the promotion.

David Buchanan was eliminated from contention when he threw 93 pitches Tuesday for triple-A Lehigh Valley. He would have to start Saturday on short rest, and Sandberg said that is not an option. The other possibility is Jeff Manship, who is the long man in the Phillies bullpen.

Sandberg said Manship, at best, could pitch three innings in a start.

"He's a luxury right now in the bullpen with two or three innings as a possibility," Sandberg said. "He's a length guy. He's that guy in our bullpen right now."

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Pettibone's regular turn is Saturday. The 23-year-old righthander was inactive for much of spring training because of a recurrence of shoulder pain. He pitched five innings and allowed three runs in his first start for Lehigh Valley.

The Phillies could need a rotation replacement for just two starts __ Saturday against Miami and April 17 vs. Atlanta. Cole Hamels could slide into that spot April 22 in Los Angeles.

Pettibone made 18 starts for the Phillies in 2013 and posted a 4.04 ERA.


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