Out clauses for Mujica, Frieri approach

Veteran right-handers competing for jobs in Phillies 'pen

March 25th, 2016

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin has a new contract, so the only thing left this spring is, well, to finalize the 25-man roster.

The biggest battle remains the No. 5 starter, which is between right-hander Vince Velasquez and left-hander Adam Morgan. But there are bullpen and bench jobs at stake, too. Phillies general manager Matt Klentak, Mackanin and others are talking regularly about how the roster could look come Opening Day on April 4.

"We have some decisions coming up in the next week, and we know it," Klentak said. "We talk about communication. I think the important thing is, whichever way we end up going as we break camp, it's going to be something that's been talked about for weeks among many people. There will not be any surprises."

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The Phillies will have to make a few decisions within the next few days.

Right-hander Edward Mujica has an out clause for Saturday. Right-hander Ernesto Frieri has an out clause for Thursday. Other veteran relievers in camp have out clauses during the season: Andrew Bailey (May 1) and James Russell (June 1).

If the Phillies do not add Mujica to the 25-man roster by the end of the day Saturday, he can request his release. The Phillies have 48 hours to add him to the roster at that point, but it looks like Mujica has a strong line on a job anyway. He allowed one run in 1 1/3 innings in Friday night's 4-4 tie with the Blue Jays at Bright House Field. Mujica has a 2.45 ERA in six appearances. He has allowed four hits, two runs, two walks with five strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.

"I feel pretty good, my arm, my body," Mujica said. "I don't know anything yet. There's some nerves because this is the first time in my career I'm in this situation. This spring I've tried to show them what I can do. They know what I can do, whatever situation in the bullpen. I'm healthy and ready to go."

Frieri's status is not nearly as certain. He has a 7.94 ERA in five appearances. He has allowed eight hits, six runs (five earned), two walks and has struck out eight in 5 2/3 innings.

"We have to submit the rosters by that Sunday, the day before the opener," Klentak said. "We'll take as long as we need to make the right decisions."