03/14/2013 5:12 PM ET
Cook, Lopez willing to pitch whenever called upon
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It is a rarity for a team to play an entire 162-game season and use only five starting pitchers.
It is why the Phillies closely watched right-handers Aaron Cook and Rodrigo Lopez in Thursday's 2-1 victory over the Pirates at Bright House Field. Nine different pitchers made starts last season for the Phils. They had seven starters in 2011, nine in '10, 12 in '09, seven in '08 and 13 in '07. The odds are Philadelphia will need more than just Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Kyle Kendrick and John Lannan in '13.
"Depth is always important," Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "We've always talked about that. You've got guys there with experience, for sure. We also feel that we've got some young kids knocking on the door here pretty soon."
Cook allowed one hit, one walk and struck out one in three scoreless innings. Lopez allowed three hits and struck out one in two scoreless innings. They would like to start, but both said they would be willing to pitch in a long-man role in the bullpen. That is a possibility, although the club is asking its relievers to pitch multiple innings to see who is most capable.
"I would love to start, but at this point in my career, pitching in the big leagues, there's not too many that say they get to do that every day," Cook said. "So if they give me a ball, I'll take it whenever."
Doc makes adjustments to delivery in 'pen session
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Roy Halladay tried to fix some things with his delivery during his bullpen session Thursday morning at Bright House Field.
"He looked wonderful," Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "He looked fine."
Halladay struggled mightily in 2 2/3 innings Tuesday. He said he was lethargic because of a more intense workout routine and throwing two bullpen sessions before that start. Both Halladay and Dubee have said there are no health issues.
He is scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Orioles.
Rule 5 pick Inciarte may be club's fifth outfielder
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Rule 5 Draft pick Ender Inciarte made the play of the day Thursday when he threw out the Pirates' Brad Hawpe at home plate in the second inning of a 2-1 victory at Bright House Field.
Inciarte, 22, could make the team as the fifth outfielder.
"It was a good play, a good throw, a tremendous throw," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's showed good defense and speed in the outfield. If you want to know the truth, I didn't know if he was going to have a shot at him or not, but he made it up. He made a strong, hard throw -- a big league throw."
Inciarte is hitting .294 this spring.
"We'll just keep playing him," Manuel said. "We need to see him play the corners, but we also need to see him hit more. You've got to remember, the pitching is going to get better. I've seen a lot of guys walk in from the Minor Leagues and have big Spring Trainings, and then when the season starts, we're talking a different ballgame. You're also asking a kid a whole lot to be a utility player at 21 or 22 years old. I know we'll discuss it."
Eagles' Cooper, '06 pick by Phillies, takes BP
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A former Phillies Draft pick took a few cuts in the cage Thursday at Bright House Field.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper took batting practice before the Phillies' Grapefruit League game against the Pirates. The Phils selected Cooper in the 15th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, but he did not sign and enrolled at the University of Florida, where he played baseball and football, winning two football national championships.
"It was definitely a decision I had to make, but I'm glad I made the one that I did," Cooper said. "I've done a lot and seen a lot for a 25-year-old."
Cooper, who grew up in Clearwater, later signed a contract with the Rangers, but chose to continue his football career. He said the Eagles set up Thursday for him as he films a documentary in Gainesville, Fla., about being a two-sport athlete, including being drafted by the Phillies.
"It went really good," he said of his BP experience. "It was a great experience. They kept telling me to get on top of the ball. But I'm trying to hit the ball out every time. I got a little too big [with the swing]. But the wind was blowing in hard, so I would have had more home runs."
Cooper hit one home run during BP.
"One or two, who's counting?" Cooper joked.
• Right-hander Kyle Kendrick allowed four hits, two unearned runs, one walk and struck out three in five innings in a Minor League game at Carpenter Complex. "I was happy with how I threw," he said.
• Second baseman Chase Utley went 2-for-4 on Thursday. He has been swinging the bat better in recent days.
• Closer Jonathan Papelbon struck out two in one scoreless inning. His last two appearances have been scoreless.
• Third baseman Pete Orr's solo homer in the eighth gave the Phillies the victory.
• The Phillies optioned infielder Cesar Hernandez to Minor League camp following Thursday's game. They also reassigned right-hander Justin Friend to Minor League camp. The club has 40 players remaining in big league camp: 19 pitchers, four catchers, nine infielders and eight outfielders.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.