Yankees 4, Phillies 0: Buchanan opening eyes

Yankees 4, Phillies 0: Buchanan opening eyes
March 1, 2014, 5:00 pm
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David Buchanan pitched two scoreless innings in the Phillies' 4-0 loss to the Yankees on Saturday. (USA Today Images)


TAMPA, Fla. -- David Buchanan is making the most of his unexpected invite to major-league spring training camp.

The 24-year-old right-hander pitched two scoreless innings against the New York Yankees at Steinbrenner Field on Saturday. He allowed one hit, did not walk a batter and struck out three.

One of Buchanan’s strikeout victims was Derek Jeter, the Yankee icon who is about to begin his farewell season.

“That was one I’ll remember for a long time,” Buchanan said. “It was an honor to throw to someone who's had his impact on the game.”

Buchanan’s second strikeout came against Brian Roberts after Phillies killer Brian McCann had doubled with two outs in the first inning. Buchanan may have gotten a little help from the umpire on the third-strike call, but he was happy to take it.

“He did a nice job,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “He’s been impressive since Day 1. He works down in the zone and mixes his pitches like we’ve stressed all in camp.”

A seventh-round pick in 2010, Buchanan made it to Triple A last season, but was not protected on the Phillies’ 40-man roster in November. He went unclaimed in the Rule 5 draft in December. In January, the Phillies surveyed their starting pitching depth and decided they were short. They extended Buchanan a late invite to camp.

In recent weeks the Phillies’ pitching depth has thinned even more as Jonathan Pettibone and Ethan Martin have been slowed by shoulder problems. Martin, hurt on Thursday, is shut down for three weeks and won’t be ready to open the season on time.

“It’s a blow as far as that goes,” Sandberg said. “He was an option as a starter. But it creates an opportunity for someone else to step up.”

Buchanan projects to open in the Triple A rotation, but if the casualties keep piling up … who knows?

“I’m not even trying to worry about that kind of stuff,” Buchanan said. “If I continue to go out there and get outs and prove myself -- when my times comes, it comes.”

The Yankees won the game, 4-0. They came at the Phillies with three premier starters -- CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka -- and the trio combined for six shutout innings.

The Phillies had just five singles.

“We were shut down all day as far as offense,” Sandberg said.

The Phillies are 1-3 in Grapefruit League play.

Honoring A.I.
The Phillies paid tribute to former Sixers great Allen Iverson on the day his No. 3 was to be retired. Marlon Byrd, who wears No. 3 for the Phillies, wore a jersey that said “Iverson” on the back during batting practice.

Looking good
Cole Hamels had his second bullpen session Saturday, and it was a good one.

“My body feels great,” said Hamels, who took it slow early in camp after an offseason bout of shoulder tendinitis.

Hamels won’t push it and be ready for opening day, but he could be a go as soon as the second week of the regular season. He is slated to begin throwing to hitters next week.

Up next
A.J. Burnett makes his Phillies debut against his former team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Sunday afternoon in Clearwater.

Jesse Biddle, Jonathan Papelbon and Antonio Bastardo are also scheduled to get work in the game.