Right now, the bullpen competition basically had three pitchers battling for one spot. Left-handers Jack Taschner and J.A. Happ would appear to have the upper-hand since the Phillies would prefer to add another lefty to the pen. Gary Majewski, who has pitched very well this spring and appears to be somewhat rejuvenated, is also in the competition. For the first time in a few seasons, Majewski, who was once one of the better up-and-coming relievers in the game, is healthy and throwing well.
There are also a bunch of new former Phillies that were created when the Phillies cut down their minor league camp rosters earlier in the week. The following players have been released this spring:
Catchers: Josh Arhart, Joe Blackburn, Ferrel Gomez, Caleb Mangum, Alan Robbins and Scott Thomas.
First Basemen: John Urick.
Second Basemen: Brian Frew, Daniel Hargrave and Rob Watson.
Shortstop: Kyle Haines.
Infielder/Outfielder: Herman Demmink.
Outfielders: Tim Binkoski, Damon Hollins and Chris Walker.
Pitchers: Yorman Bazardo, Gerald Breslin, Dustin Cameron, Jorge Crespo, Andrew Cruse, Reymond Cruz, Shawn Ellis, Berman Espinoza, Yen Fing Len, Yoel Hernandez, Jason Mackintosh, Cristobal Mata, Moises Melendez, Blaine Neal, Ben Pfinsgraf, Justin Pope, Steven Shepard, Sean Thompson.
No great surprises among the rest of the group, although the Phillies were pretty high on former Cubs prospect Chris Walker, who they had signed as a minor league free agent. They also had high hopes for reliever Blaine Neal, who was penciled in to be the closer at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
There is some speculation about pitcher Edgar Garcia, who hasn't shown up in the latest workgroup assignments. There are varied reports ranging from injury to an unexpected release.
It figures that there will be a little more weeding done later this week or over the weekend as the Phillies cut down their minor league roster and finalize assignments for players.
Meanwhile, the Phillies also made what appears to be a nice addition to their organization by signing 16 year old Domingo Santana out of the Dominican Republic. Santana is a 6' 5" right-hander who chose the Phillies over signing with the Yankees. Perhaps part of the reason is that the Phillies have brought him to Clearwater and will work with him in extended camp and possibly keep him in the states as a 16 year old in either the Gulf Coast League or at Williamsport.