3/2/2014 5:10 P.M. ET
Amaro encouraged by Gonzalez's first start
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies have tempered expectations for Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez since they signed him to a $12 million contract in August.
Gonzalez allowed two hits, one run, walked four and struck out two in 1 2/3 innings Saturday in his Phillies and Grapefruit League debuts against the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. His fastball hit 93 or 94 mph once, depending on the radar gun, but otherwise sat in the 89-91 mph range. He showed some quality offspeed pitches, particularly his breaking ball, but couldn't command his fastball.
It was Gonzalez's first time pitching in a game in two years.
"He was rusty and he wasn't throwing a lot of strikes," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "But I think stuff-wise it was encouraging. He probably threw better with his stuff as far as his velocity and breaking ball since he's been in camp. It's a process. We've got to let him develop from there. But I was encouraged by his poise. I was encouraged that his stuff was better than it had been in his sides. And hopefully it will continue to progress in a positive way."
Scouting reports before Gonzalez signed said he threw in the mid-90s.
So where is the heat?
"I think he's still building it, just like all these other guys," Amaro said. "It just takes time for guys to build arm strength. I'm not as concerned about the velocity as I am the command and making sure his stuff is consistent. It'll build."
Amaro said Gonzalez had some tightness in his arm earlier in the spring, but said Saturday it was not an issue.
"There have been no issues with him thus far," Amaro said.
Asche sustains bruise after being hit on hand
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Since the Phillies played their final game in 2013, they have preached the importance of health.
They believe if they are healthy, they will win.
So the Phils received a scare on Sunday afternoon at Bright House Field, when Pirates pitcher Yao-Hsun Yang hit third baseman Cody Asche on the right hand with a pitch in the fifth inning. Asche left the game, but the Phillies said afterward that it is a bruise, and a preliminary ultrasound exam came back negative. Asche could have more tests on Monday, if needed.
It sounded much worse than a bruise when the pitch first struck him.
"It scared me," Asche said. "It feels like it should feel if you got hit by a pitch, but it doesn't feel like it's something serious. That's good. They don't seem concerned about a break."
Adams pleased with successful bullpen stint
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies right-hander Mike Adams threw his second successful bullpen session on Sunday morning at Bright House Field.
Adams is recovering from right shoulder surgery in July, and is expected to open the season on the disabled list. But Adams remains hopeful, if everything continues to progress, that he could return to the Phillies' bullpen sometime in April.
"Since my last bullpen, I'm feeling better and better," Adams said. "I'm starting to feel a little stronger."
• The Phillies are hitting .192 through five Grapefruit League games.
• Closer Jonathan Papelbon threw a scoreless inning. His fastball appeared to have some life on it, which is noteworthy as his velocity has dropped nearly four mph over the past two seasons. "It looked like it had some giddy-up on it," pitching coach Bob McClure said. "That was good to see."
• Actor and comedian Jon Lovitz stopped by the ballpark. He is friends with outfielder Kelly Dugan, whose father, Dennis, directed Lovitz in the movie "Benchwarmers."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.