The bullpen picture became crystal clear this morning as left-hander Mike Zagurski and Scott Mathieson will head back to Triple-A, meaning Antonio Bastardo and David Herndon have made the final cut.
With these moves, and with Brad Lidge set to begin the season on the disabled list, the Opening Day bullpen will include Herndon, Bastardo, Kyle Kendrick, Danys Baez, Jose Contreras, J.C. Romero and Ryan Madson if the Phillies carry 12 pitchers, as expected. The 'pen has been a bright spot for the Phils this spring, Zagurski and Mathieson included; Zagurski struck out 12 in 8 1-3 innings, while Mathieson struck out 9 in 9 innings, but also walked six. As it stands, the Phillies opted for the most experienced and familiar group, with Herndon and Bastardo set to break camp and head north for a second-consecutive season. It also suggests that Kendrick will be fully repurposed into a relief role instead of staying stretched out as a starter in Triple-A. Beerleaguer: If you swap Lidge for Herndon, this is the bullpen most expected. Even without Lidge, the 'pen could still be a strength and has depth in Zagurski, Mathieson, Mike Stutes and Dan Meyer.
Notes: Placido Polanco will be reevaluated by team physician Michael Ciccotti at 11 a.m. today, according to a Morning Call report. ... Some under-the-radar injuries: Right-hander Brian Schlitter is out with right elbow problems. Infielder Brian Bocock has been out with a wrist injury. Both are scheduled for MRIs (they may have already had them?) ... The Phils split up today in games starting at 1:05. Kendrick starts against the Blue Jays in a game airing on WPHL-17, while The Phils split up today in games starting at 1:05. Kendrick starts against the Blue Jays in a game airing on WPHL-17, while left-hander Ryan Feierabend starts off against the Tigers.