3/22/2013 5:46 P.M. ET
Betancourt's future to be decided soon
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies have until the end of Sunday to decide if infielder Yuniesky Betancourt will make the Opening Day roster.
It remains a close race for two utility jobs among Freddy Galvis, Kevin Frandsen and Betancourt.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has been vocal in his support of Galvis, who he believes can get 200-250 at-bats in a utility role. Manuel said that would be better than 500-550 at-bats with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He also regularly praises Galvis' defensive skills and baseball instincts.
Galvis entered Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Braves at Bright House Field hitting .288 (17-for-59) with six doubles, two triples, two home runs, eight RBIs, a .311 on-base percentage and a .559 slugging percentage.
Frandsen was hitting .286 (14-for-49) with four doubles, one triple, two homers, six RBIs, a .314 on-base percentage and a .531 slugging percentage. Betancourt was hitting .439 (18-for-41) with three doubles, nine RBIs, a .444 on-base percentage and a .512 slugging percentage.
The Phillies have played the numbers game in the past, optioning a player like Galvis to maintain their depth.
Frandsen is out of options, and he signed a guaranteed one-year, $850,000 contract. He is well liked in the clubhouse. But Betancourt is the true 'X' factor. He has an opt-out clause, meaning he can be released if the Phillies inform him Sunday he has not made the 25-man roster. His agent Alex Esteban told MLB.com earlier this week Betancourt has loved his time with the Phillies and definitely wants to stay, but they would exercise the opt-out clause.
Betancourt should be able to find a big league job elsewhere, with infielders dropping frequently as of late.
Morgan enjoys callup against Braves
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Adam Morgan was raised in Marietta, Ga., where he grew up a Braves fan.
He even played as a 16-year-old with Braves outfielder Jason Heyward in the East Cobb Baseball league.
So he got a nice surprise Friday when the Phillies called him up from Minor League camp to face the Braves in a 7-6 victory at Bright House Field. Morgan, who is one of the organization's top prospects, struck out five and allowed four hits, one run, three walks and one home run in 4 2/3 innings.
"How awesome is that?" Morgan said. "Even if it is Spring Training, I'm going to take it that I threw pretty good against the Braves."
If Morgan continues to progress through the Minor Leagues he should get the opportunity to face them plenty of times in the future.
Morgan said he faced Heyward, who did not make the trip to Clearwater on Friday, when he was 16.
"I got ahead of him, I remember, two strikes," Morgan said. "Then the next pitch, I tried to hump up and blow one by him, and he peppered it off the center field wall."
Next time, Morgan joked, he might try to mix in a breaking ball or two.
Young homers off Dickey in Minor League game
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Delmon Young finally broke the monotony of Spring Training on Friday with a little baseball.
Young, who has been recovering from microfracture surgery on his right ankle, homered in his second at-bat Friday against Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in a Triple-A game against Toronto. He hit four times, going 1-for-4.
He did not play in the field or run the bases, other than when he homered.
"Everything felt good," Young said. "It was good to go out there and actually do something outside of batting practice and watch a game for five innings."
Young has been progressing in recent weeks. He started to work out in the outfield Thursday and has been running the bases under the watchful eye of the athletic training staff.
"We had a tentative schedule that was based on how I felt," Young said. "Talking to [head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan] this morning, he asked me if I was up for it, and I was like, 'Yeah, I feel fine.' He said, 'Just hit and run to first base, and we'll have someone else do the baserunning.' But on the home run, I said, 'No, I have to do this on my own.' It was a lot of fun. It took awhile."
Young said he did not know how much longer he needed to participate completely in a game. The Phillies have said Young could be in their lineup before May 1, but they had also thought he might play in a Grapefruit League game before the end of the month. That is unlikely.
Ruiz appears OK after Thursday injury
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz appeared just fine, laughing and talking with teammates in front of his locker Friday morning at Bright House Field.
He got hit in his left hand with a pitch in the ninth inning Thursday in a Grapefruit League game against the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers. The Phillies called it a bruise, which seemed to be confirmed Friday when X-rays came back negative.
"Today it felt great," Ruiz said.
Ruiz has been suspended the first 25 games of the season after testing positive for a banned stimulant. He is eligible to play in his first regular-season game April 28 against the New York Mets at Citi Field. He is eligible to begin a rehab assignment April 23.
• Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay tries to take a step forward Saturday when he pitches in a Minor League game at Carpenter Complex.
He pitched just one inning Sunday because of a stomach virus. Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said two more Spring Training starts would be enough for Halladay to be ready to pitch the second game of the regular season, April 3 against the Braves in Atlanta.
• The Phillies released right-hander Rodrigo Lopez on Friday.
"That was probably the toughest for me personally, because I like the guy so much," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We just felt like the people that we had in-house were going to give us a better opportunity to win if we needed them. I didn't want to put him in a position to have to wait three, four, five pitchers down the line. That's not the right thing to do to a guy in this stage of his career."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.