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Pettibone gets nod as fifth starter

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- The moment Triple-A Lehigh Valley right-hander David Buchanan threw 93 pitches Tuesday it became clear right-hander Jonathan Pettibone would be the Phillies' starter Saturday against the Marlins.

The Phillies on Thursday announced Pettibone will be their fifth starter until Cole Hamels finishes rehab from inflammation in his left shoulder.

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PHILADELPHIA -- The moment Triple-A Lehigh Valley right-hander David Buchanan threw 93 pitches Tuesday it became clear right-hander Jonathan Pettibone would be the Phillies' starter Saturday against the Marlins.

The Phillies on Thursday announced Pettibone will be their fifth starter until Cole Hamels finishes rehab from inflammation in his left shoulder.

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Hamels could be back as early as April 22, which means Pettibone could make just two starts.

Buchanan had an excellent spring, but he is not on the 40-man roster, which came under consideration as the Phillies evaluated their options.

"I guess that's part of the decision, but not really all of the decision," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "Pettibone also earned an opportunity to pitch with us. He got hurt (last year). He was still fairly effective and he was still learning but we think he's got a strong future as a starter for us. As long as we felt he was aggressive and healthy he was probably the number one candidate going in anyway."

The Phillies will need to make room on the 25-man roster for Pettibone, which means one relief pitcher will be moved. Closer Jonathan Papelbon and left-handers Antonio Bastardo, Jake Diekman and Mario Hollands seem safe, which means the Phillies are likely to choose from right-handers Brad Lincoln, Justin De Fratus, B.J. Rosenberg and Jeff Manship. Lincoln and Manship are out of options.

"It's part of the decision making process, but we're going to try to do what's right for the club," said Amaro, when asked if options could come into play. "We still have flexibility, but we'll see. We'll make a decision sometime before the game on Saturday."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com.

 

Philadelphia Phillies