All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Andy Update has posted an update on Andy Phillips and it sounds like he's officially lost his chance at a roster spot.

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates general manager Neal Huntington all but confirmed on Sunday that utilityman Andy Phillips will not be healthy enough in time to earn one of the team's two remaining bench roles out of Spring Training.

Phillips, who has not played in a game since March 7 because of lower back stiffness, will have an injection in his back on Monday. The injection will shut him down from all exercise and activity for two to three days.

That recovery would then have to be followed by a progression back on to the field, which would include playing in some Minor League games. As a result, the best-case scenario for Phillips would have him not returning to Grapefruit League action until the final week of camp.

While Phillips, who seemed poised to steal the final bench spot before the back injury surfaced, may very well be fully healthy by Opening Day, he won't have enough opportunities to prove that he is the Pirates' best infield/outfield back-up option. The Pirates were anxious to see how Phillips fared at second and in the outfield, two positions where he doesn't have substantial Major League playing experience, before making any decisions.

"He's frustrated. He wants to play," Huntington said. "He swung the bat very well early in camp and was just starting to bounce around [defensively] when the back flared up on him. It doesn't mean he's done for the year, but it means that on April 5, he's on the outside looking in."

This likely means Andy will start the season with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. He's not on the Pirates' 40-man roster, so he doesn't have to clear waivers. He might have the right to seek free agency, but I doubt he would, in this market.

Well, if he's with the Indians when they come to Scranton in June, I'll get to see him play.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:57 PM


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