Former Phillie Brandon Duckworth could win the final spot in the Pirates starting rotation.
The 30-year-old right-hander, who is in camp as a non-roster invitee, is battling for the last spot with right-hander Victor Santos. According to the Pirates Web site, Bucs manager Jim Tracy said he wasn't leaning one way or the other in deciding the rotation's final pitcher, but that the decision will be made soon. Tracy announced on Tuesday that right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, a Kutztown University product, was out of contention, leaving Duckworth and Santos vieing for the last opening.
Oliver Perez will be the opening day starter today, followed by Zack Duke, Ian Snell and Pat Maholm.
In five seasons with the Phillies and Houston Astros, Duckworth is 16-21 with a 5.34 ERA. He was part of the trade that brought Billy Wagner to Philadelphia.
Here’s the rest of the action among former Phillies non-roster invitees:
Washington Nationals: Reassigned LHP Mike Bacsik and LHP Jim Crowell to minor league camp. Bacsik is the pitcher Aaron Fultz beat out last spring to earn the situational left-hander role in the Phillies bullpen. Crowell pitched three innings for the Phillies in 2004.
San Diego Padres: Reassigned LHP Erick Burke to Minor League camp. Burke split time between Reading and Scranton last season.
Cincinnati Reds: Optioned RHP Elizardo Ramirez Minor League camp. Ramirez was traded to the Reds in the Cory Lidle deal.
Boston Red Sox
Reassigned RHP Franklin Nunez to Minor League camp. Nunez was in the Phillies farm system until 2002.
Released RHP Ricky Bottalico. Bottalico was the Phillies lone All-Star representative in 1996.
Assigned Reggie Taylor to Minor League camp. Taylor was the Phillies first-round draft pick in the 1995 amateur draft.