For the most part, the Phillies have been on auto-pilot through the first few weeks of spring training. With no major battles for jobs and the team relatively injury free, the players have been able to settle into camp with a focus on April 1.
However, one player who hasn't been as locked in as the others is closer Jonathan Papelbon. In his second spring with the Phillies, Papelbon has struggled to get going this spring. Now he's sick and will not take the mound for Tuesday's game at Bright House Field against the Dominican Republic.
There is no word when the closer will make his next appearance.
Undoubtedly, Papelbon was anxious to get back out there. He has appeared in two games this spring where he has faced 16 batters for 1 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on seven hits and three walks. That comes out to a robust 43.20 ERA.
“I’m not worried about him,” manager Charlie Manuel said after the closer gave up six runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Yankees last Friday. “Pap’s going to be fine.”
Given that Papelbon has recorded four of his five outs on strikeouts, it's likely that he just has to iron out a few command issues.
In the meantime, Manuel has a few of his springtime regulars back in there for Tuesday's game:
1.) Ender Inciarte, cf
2.) Kevin Frandsen, 2b
3.) Dom Brown, rf
4.) Ryan Howard, 1b
5.) Darin Ruf, lf
6.) Laynce Nix, dh
7.) Cody Asche, 3b
8.) Erik Kratz, c
9.) Freddy Galvis, ss
Cole Hamels, Jonathan Pettibone and Ethan Martin are expected to pitch for the Phillies.