FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Phillies officials have a big personnel powwow on Sunday and one of the matters that will be discussed is who gets the final two bullpen jobs.
With evaluation time dwindling, the Phils used Saturday's game against the Boston Red Sox as an opportunity to look at Alec Asher, Adam Morgan and Joely Rodriguez, all candidates to win a job in the bullpen.
"They all got a lot of work," manager Pete Mackanin said after the Phillies played to a 3-3 tie with the Red Sox.
The right-hander Asher worked three innings and gave up three hits and two runs.
The lefty Morgan worked three innings and allowed a solo homer.
The lefty Rodriguez worked two innings, gave up a hit and struck out three.
"To hold the Red Sox to three runs is pretty nice, especially in this ballpark," Mackanin said. "They had their guys in there and we held them down."
Morgan has allowed just one run over six innings his last two outings.
"He has changed speeds well last two times out," Mackanin said. "That's how he needs to pitch."
The Phillies have five spots set in their bullpen with Jeanmar Gomez, Hector Neris, Joaquin Benoit, Pat Neshek and Edubray Ramos. They are all right-handers. The final two spots will likely come down to Morgan, Asher, Rodriguez and Luis Garcia, who are all on the 40-man roster. That is an important consideration because the Phils would like to keep their 40-man roster subtractions to a minimum. There is an outside chance they could go with an eight-man bullpen, though that might be tough in the National League, where a full bench comes in handy. That will be discussed Sunday.
The makeup of the bench will also be discussed Sunday. Andrew Knapp's place on the 40-man roster will help his chance of being the backup catcher. Veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday both can opt of their contracts in the next few days if they are not going to make the club. Utility man Chris Coghlan also has an opt-out coming. Daniel Nava and Brock Stassi are also candidates for what looks like two remaining spots on the bench. Nava does not have an opt-out until June. Stassi is under control and would have to accept an assignment to the minors if he does not make the club.
Infielder Jesmuel Valentin is also still in camp. He is on the 40-man roster. The question is whether the team wants to carry the 22-year-old as an extra man or get him regular reps at second base in Triple-A. Valentin is 11 for 31 (.355) this spring. He hit his fifth double on Saturday.
"He swings the bat really well from the right side," Mackanin said. "He's got some work to do from the left side. He's got good actions and instincts. In a short period of time, he's made a good impression on me and I think he can be a major-league player."
The Phillies had 12 hits but scored just three runs. They have scored just 10 runs over the last four games.
"We just can't accumulate a lot of runs," Mackanin said.
The Phils were last in the majors with 610 runs last season.
The Phillies tied the game in the top of the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Coghlan.
Mackanin tried to suicide-squeeze home the go-ahead run, but Roman Quinn popped up the bunt.
Colton Murray preserved the tie with a clean bottom of the ninth.
Former Phillie Kyle Kendrick pitched six innings of two-run ball for Boston. He walked none and struck out six. Kendrick projects to open the season at Triple-A, but is No. 6 on the Red Sox's starting pitching depth chart and is likely to see big-league at some point this season.
The Phillies host the Pirates on Sunday. Clay Buchholz will make the start against right-hander Josh Lindblom, who spent time with the Phillies after coming over from the Dodgers in the Shane Victorino trade in 2012.