The Phillies’ starting pitching depth has suffered a blow as right-hander Jonathan Pettibone has gone on the disabled list at Triple A with continued shoulder problems.
Pettibone had an MRI and has been examined by team doctors. The pitcher is expected see orthopedist James Andrews as he decides whether to attempt to rehabilitate the injury or have surgery.
Either way, Pettibone is out for a while.
Pettibone, who turns 24 in July, has gone down the rehab route before. He made 18 starts in the majors last season but missed the final two months while rehabbing a shoulder injury. Pettibone had a setback with his shoulder early in spring training and required an injection of anti-inflammatory medication. He opened the season on time in Triple A and made two starts in the majors before heading back to Triple A where his problems have surfaced again.
Pettibone isn’t the only pitcher at Triple A to have a shoulder problem. Right-hander David Buchanan, a spring-training standout, missed a start earlier this month with shoulder inflammation. He bounced back to make his last start on Tuesday and delivered five innings of two-run ball to beat the Gwinnett Braves. Buchanan is 5-0 with a 3.18 ERA in eight starts at Triple A. If healthy, he is probably at the head of the class should the Phillies need to reach down to the minors for a starter any time soon.
Some depth could be forming down below as Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has begun to pitch in official minor-league games after rehabbing a spring-training shoulder strain. Gonzalez pitched five innings and allowed six hits and three runs for Clearwater on Thursday. He walked two and struck out one. His fastball, according to manager Ryne Sandberg, was 92 to 94 miles per hours.
“His control was a little off, but it sounds like he’s healthy,” Sandberg said. “He must be healthy if he’s throwing that hard. Now it’s just about getting his games in.”