2/22/2014 6:13 P.M. ET
Henderson will not manage Class A Clearwater
By Paul Hagen / MLB.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies announced Saturday that Ramon Henderson, whose return to the organization in 2013 was an inspirational tale of redemption, will not manage Class A Advanced Clearwater this season as previously announced for personal reasons.
Henderson, once a fast-rising coach in the system, left the team in 2008 after 10 years as big league bullpen coach for what he later admitted was a drinking problem. Given a second chance, he was let go again, also for alcohol-related reasons. He subsequently spent 14 months in jail after he ended up in a fender-bender accident.
He came back as a coach for the Gulf Coast (Rookie) League Phillies last year and seemed to have his life back on track. He was thrilled in January with the announcement that he was being promoted to Threshers manager. It was not immediately apparent whether alcohol abuse contributed to Henderson not managing Clearwater this year.
Nelson Prada will step in to manage Clearwater, and Shawn Williams will take over the short season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters.
Abreu, Galvis thinking of family in Venezuela
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The ripple effect of violent political unrest in Venezuela is being felt in the Phillies' clubhouse at Bright House Field. The Phils have several Venezuelan natives in camp and, naturally, they are thinking about their family and friends back home.
"I know they're going through a tough situation. You don't want to see that. Sometimes you hear the news and you don't know if it's one of your friends or your family [who was involved]," said outfielder Bobby Abreu. "It's tough sometimes to talk about what's happening right now. It's a tough situation there right now. I don't want to talk too much about it."
Utility man Freddy Galvis tweeted some thoughts on the situation and then his father was confronted when he went to the store.
"Everything is happening. People are killing each other," he said. "My hometown was always quiet. We don't see that kind of stuff. But right now people are fighting and that kind of stuff. So I'm a little bit concerned.
"A few days ago, my father went downtown to go shopping and some people almost got in a fight with him because I said something on Twitter. It's crazy, man. People fighting each other. I just hope everything can get back like old times."
Galvis said he can avoid being distracted while he's at work.
"I come into the clubhouse, I put my mind on the game and that's it," he said. "But when I go home and I watch it on TV, yeah, then I'm thinking of my family. But when I come to the stadium, my mind's on baseball."
Amaro: Phillies' reputation is very good
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- After the NCAA ruled that Oregon State left-hander Ben Wetzler would be suspended 11 games for using an agent, the Phillies issued a statement on their involvement in bringing the infraction to the attention of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
It read: "The Phillies did participate in the NCAA investigation and a ruling has been issued. We believe it is inappropriate to comment further on either the negotiation with the player or the action taken by the NCAA."
The Phillies selected Wetzler in the fifth round and Washington State outfielder Jason Monda in the sixth round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. Both decided to remain in school. Baseball America reported that it was the Phillies who reported both players for using an agent to help them negotiate. Monda was recently reinstated. College players have long used advisors to guide them after the Draft, but the NCAA's penalty was based on the conclusion that in these cases the agents had overstepped the acceptable boundary.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr., who first referred all questions to assistant general manager Marti Wolever when the story broke on Thursday, spoke briefly to reporters on Saturday.
Amaro acknowledged that he was "aware" when the issue was raised with the NCAA last November and that Wolever remains in charge of the scouting department. He added that he doesn't believe the Phillies' reputation has been harmed or that the incident will hamper the team in future Drafts.
"I think people know we do things professionally and the way we go about our business," Amaro said. "So I think our reputation is very good."
• Right-hander Jonathan Pettibone made 40 throws from 60 feet Saturday at Bright House Field, the first time he had thrown since undergoing a cortisone injection in his shoulder five days early. Pettibone pitched in 18 games as a rookie in 2013 before being shut down with right shoulder inflammation.
"Everything was fine," he said, noting that a better test will be when he throws from the mound.
That should be within a week. If he doesn't fall too far behind, Pettibone could be a candidate to make the rotation to open the season.
"I've already been off a mound. I've already built arm strength. So just missing five days shouldn't put me too far behind," he said. "We'll have to see once I get on the mound and how many times I have to be on the mound before I see hitters."
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.