03/19/12 6:00 PM ET
Injuries making it hard for Phils to find lineup
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Ryan Howard isn't at first base. Chase Utley isn't at second base. Third baseman Placido Polanco has had trouble getting on the field.
If John Mayberry Jr. plays first base, who plays left field?
If Mayberry plays left, who plays first?
Who hits third? Fourth? Fifth?
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel offered little insight into how his lineup might look Opening Day. Utley left the team Monday to have a specialist treat the chronic condition in both his knees, which has sidelined him since last month. Manuel was asked following Monday's 4-3 victory over Detroit at Bright House Field if there is a chance he might play Polanco, who has been sidelined since Saturday with a sprained left ring finger, at second while Utley is out.
"I don't know," he said. "I'm having trouble keeping him at third base. I'm trying to get him healthy right now."
Manuel also was asked if he might consider playing Utley at first base if he returns and Howard is out.
"That comes up, but I don't know," he said. "I don't want to say never. I mean, right now, I think about that sometimes, but me, I don't know yet. I don't think that might be the best thing to do. First baseman, they're always active. They're taking all of the throws. He's hit ground balls, too. He's more into the picture than you think he is, if you stop and think about it. There's a big workload there, too."
Halladay gets chance to quell velocity doubters
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Roy Halladay has a 10.57 ERA after three Grapefruit League starts, but he tries to bounce back Tuesday against the Orioles in Sarasota, Fla.
There had been speculation last week that something might be wrong with Halladay because his velocity is down.
"Roy is fine," Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said Monday. "Roy is absolutely fine."
Dubee's reaction to a couple scouts who thought Halladay has looked different than springs past?
"I kind of thought they better worry about their own team having to face Roy eventually," Dubee said. "Roy is fine."
Dehydration could be slowing down Bastardo
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Left-hander Antonio Bastardo's velocity was down Sunday in a Grapefruit League game against Toronto in Dunedin, Fla., but the Phillies are not concerned.
"He's a had a little forearm tightness," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "It has nothing to do with ligaments or the flexor pronator. A lot of it might be due to being dehydrated. He's fine, and then after a certain period he starts to cramp up a little bit. We have to make sure he stays hydrated and keeps water in his system."
The Phillies released right-hander Joel Pineiro on Monday. "He's been hurt," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "He was hurt. It's tough to get a read on a guy that's hurt. His shoulder was a little cranky still." ... Outfielder Laynce Nix returned to the field after missing six games because of sore ribs. ... Right-hander Joe Blanton will pitch in a Minor League Spring Training game Tuesday in Clearwater. Left-hander Cliff Lee and right-hander Kyle Kendrick will both pitch in Minor League Spring Training games Wednesday. ... Right-hander Jose Contreras, who made his first Grapefruit League appearance Sunday, is expected to pitch in another game this week, but a date has not been decided. "He was fine," Dubee said. "I'm very pleased with Jose. This guy is a long way removed from competition and his arm is responding great. That's a big upside." ... Jim Thome is expected to play more first base in a Minor League Spring Training game, but a date has not been decided.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.