Sources close to the Phillies are reporting that the team's approach to dealing with players is taking on a decidely different position. Players who come into camp out of shape or with an attitude are on a short leash and may find themselves out of a job. Consider Keith Bucktrot Exhibit A of that new approach.
Bucktrot arrived in camp, acting like it was the last place that he wanted to be. His behavior further angered trainers and team officials who had attempted to get in touch with him during the off-season to see how his training regimen was going. Reportedly, Bucktrot was unreachable and didn't return phone calls, going so far as to change his cell phone number.
Minor League Director Steve Noworyta talked with Bucktrot, who reportedly told his boss that he "had other things going on and really didn't care about baseball."
As it turned out, Bucktrot did not do any of the required off-season work outs, was not in shape when he reported to camp. His attitude also showed no improvement and the Phillies wound up releasing him on Saturday.
The Phillies also released 26 year old right-hander Jared Blasdell, who like Bucktrot, had battled injury problems. It's thought that Blasdell had also reported to camp out of shape.