Not too long after Cole Hamels announced that he’s had shoulder problems this spring, fellow starter Jonathan Pettibone announced that he, too, had a sore shoulder. While Cole is obviously a much more important pitcher to their success, Pettibone’s shoulder issue is distressing, as well. Pettibone did a nice job last year, and while there’s no guarantee that he came repeat that, if he if he is not in the rotation, that means it makes it easier from Roberto Hernandez or Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to make the rotation.
That scenario is noted in this Matt Gelb article, except he doesn’t mention Hernandez, which is curious. Does that mean Hernandez will be in the bullpen? I hope so. We know who will be pitchers 1-3: Hamels, Lee, and Burnett. Kendrick will be #4, and the fifth spot is to be solved after the spring. I would be most comfortable with Pettibone, because Hernandez has mostly been awful his whole career and Gonzalez does not look great so far, even with all that time he had to prepare after not playing last year.
I remember hearing that the Phillies tinkered with Pettibone’s delivery last year in order to increase his pitch velocity. If that is the case, you have to wonder if his two instances of shoulder soreness. Since he’s taking anti-inflammatories, I am guessing it is tendonitis, which is what Hamels’ problem is. Having had that in my shoulder at one time, I know how pesky that can be; it lingers.
Also, let’s say that the fifth starter spot is a disaster this year no matter who is pitching. And let’s say the Phillies hotshot pitching prospect, Jesse Biddle is lights out at AAA. I wonder if the Phillies would consider calling him up. I know Ruben said there is no way he makes the team out of spring training, and he is right. He can’t pitch in the majors yet until he cleans up his control problem. However, let’s say the Phillies are still in it at the all-star break and Biddle is on fire and the fifth starters in Philly are horrible. I would think they would have to call him up.