Frieri, Arencibia, Venable also among Friday's roster moves
By Paul Hagen
PHILADELPHIA -- Right-handers Andrew Bailey and Ernesto Frieri, catcher J.P. Arencibia and outfielder Will Venable have been reassigned to Minor League camp. The moves were announced after Friday night's 8-7 loss to the Orioles at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies open the regular season against the Reds on Monday at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. The team will fly to Cincinnati after Saturday afternoon's final exhibition game against the Phillies' Futures team.
Manager Pete Mackanin had said prior to the game that Bailey, the South Jersey native and 2009 American League Rookie of the Year Award winner who is trying to make a comeback from a series of injuries, had a pivotal appearance against Baltimore.
The 31-year-old reliever came in to pitch the seventh and got Pedro Alvarez to ground into a double play after Julio Borbon led off with a walk. He struck out Xavier Avery to end the frame. He then pitched a perfect eighth.
Bailey went 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in nine spring appearances. Over 10 innings, he struck out 10 batters and walked one. Six of his outings were scoreless.
Mackanin stressed that he isn't writing Bailey off.
"We just need to see a little bit more," Mackanin said. "We need him to go down there and improve his command. He's a little bit behind for whatever reason. We'd just like to see him pitch a little better. That's what it boils down to.
"You know how this works. We're going to see plenty of guys up and down. At this point, we feel he's capable of pitching in the Major Leagues. He's proven it. He needs a little bit of fine-tuning."
All four were non-roster players who are on Minor League contracts. Mackanin said each has a chance to make a contribution this season. He mentioned that Venable was fighting an uphill battle because he didn't sign until March 28 after being released by the Indians.
"We just haven't seen enough of Venable," Mackanin said. "We've seen him in the past, but he just got here so late that he's going to go down to Triple-A [Norfolk] and get some at bats. We've got flexibility with a lot of players."
While the Phillies have 31 players remaining, they are expected to officially announce their final roster Saturday, but Friday night's transactions seem to leave just 25 healthy players: