First workout arrives, Phillies cut Chad Gaudin

First workout arrives, Phillies cut Chad Gaudin
February 13, 2014, 10:30 am
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Chad Gaudin, signed by the Phillies to a minor-league deal, was 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA for the Giants last season. (USA Today Images)

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies subtracted some of their pitching depth Thursday morning when Chad Gaudin was released after failing a physical exam.

Though Gaudin had been on a minor-league contract, he had a chance to make the big club because of ability to work as a starter or a reliever.

Now, he’s out of the picture.

“I don’t want to get specific,” GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “We didn’t feel comfortable with the exam yesterday and we decided to let him go.”

Gaudin went to camp on a minor-league contract with the San Francisco Giants last season and ended up being an important member of that club. He pitched in 30 games, 12 of them starts, and went 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA. He was 5-1 with a 3.53 ERA in his 12 starts.

Gaudin did not pitch after Aug. 16 when he was treated for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Phillies medical officials examined Gaudin in January before he signed his minor-league contract. At the time, Amaro said, “He has a very good chance to make the team.” Something apparently changed in the time between Gaudin’s signing and Wednesday’s reporting-day physical.

With Gaudin gone, the Phillies will look for a reliever who can pitch multiple innings.

“It hurts,” Amaro said, referring to Gaudin’s loss. “Obviously the roles he can fill as a long guy, a guy who can sit for 10 days and not pitch and then pitch as a starter, all of those things you like to have a veteran guy to be able to do. We have to find out if that guy is in our camp. I think we have some guys who could do that, we have some guys who can stretch it out and give us depth -- Ethan Martin, B.J. Rosenberg, some other guys, six-year free agents. Guys will get opportunities. We’ll see.”

Amaro said he would prefer to have Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez work as a starter instead of a reliever, but he will keep an open mind.

Gonzalez joined the rest of the Phillies' pitchers in the team’s first workout Thursday morning. A.J. Burnett, signed to bolster the rotation on Wednesday, is not yet in camp.

Cole Hamels is throwing, but not off a mound. He is behind after a bout of shoulder tendinitis this winter. Hamels expects to pitch in April. Amaro said his concern about Hamels ranked at 2 on a scale from 1 to 10.

“He actually feels great,” Amaro said. “We’re not trying to hide anything. Everyone thinks we’re trying to hide things. We just want to be cautious with the guy. He’s too important to us not to be cautious. Why would you want to push him? If we wanted to push him, tell him to get ready for Opening Day, we could probably do that. But what’s the point? He had a little tendinitis. We’re just being cautious with him.”