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Surprising Buchanan may have role

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- David Buchanan came to Spring Training hoping to learn a few things and impress a few people.

He might not have imagined he would still be here March 20, but he has exceeded expectations, so he has stayed. He started Thursday's 3-1 loss to the Blue Jays in a Grapefruit League game at Bright House Field, allowing three hits, two runs, one walk and striking out six in four innings. He has a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings, striking out nine and walking two.

"Every day I'm here is a privilege," Buchanan said.

It remains to be seen how Buchanan fits into the team's short-term plans. Cole Hamels will open the season on the disabled list, but the Phillies will need a fifth starter on April 14. Buchanan could be a candidate for that job.

The Phillies could use a long man in the bullpen, and Buchanan could fill that role, but they might prefer he pitches on a regular schedule in Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

The Phillies used 10 starters last season, so they would like to have some options once a need arises.

"Everybody is asking me what's going on," Buchanan said. "It comes through texts and phone calls and stuff. I pretty much tell them the same thing ... I don't know. I try not to worry about it. I'm having a blast doing what I'm doing, and regardless of what happens, I had a great time here. I'm going to continue to enjoy it until the day comes when they tell me where I'm going."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for
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