CLEARWATER, Fla. - The brief scare at the end of Tuesday's game in Dunedin may end up being just that: a brief scare.
A day after Ken Giles was removed from a game in the middle of an at-bat against the Toronto Blue Jays, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the second-year reliever had a mild midback strain that wouldn't sideline him for long.
"[It's] still kind of day-to-day, but I think he's going to be OK," Amaro said.
Amaro sounded very confident that Giles would be ready for Monday's season opener at Citizens Bank Park against the Red Sox, and not, instead, healing up on the disabled list.
"I don't think he's going to necessitate a DL," Amaro said. "But again, he's day-to-day, and we'll probably know more in the next 48 hours."
Giles was injury-free in 2014, when he finished four in the National League Rookie of the Year voting despite spending the first 2 1/2 months of the season in the minor leagues. Giles had a 1.18 ERA in 44 games and struck out 64 of the 166 batters he faced in 45 2/3 innings.
But Giles does have a history of oblique issues. He pitched in just 24 games in 2013, when he made two separate trips to the disabled list for an oblique injury.
Amaro was asked if he had to weigh the risks of putting Giles on the field in the next 5 days.
"I wouldn't risk it, if we think it's a risk. It was described to me as milder than Cody Asche's issue," Amaro said.
In the last week, back pain forced Asche to miss four straight Grapefruit League games. Asche was sidelined for 4 days total; he played 1 day in a minor league game.
Giles has a chance to return to the mound in three more games (one more in Clearwater today, followed by two exhibition games in Philadelphia) in the next 4 days, before the season opener on Monday.
"I'd assume we'll try to get him into a game over the next several days," Amaro said. "And, if not, at least [have him pitch] off the mound. It doesn't necessarily have to be in a game, but probably definitely have to [have him pitch] off the mound."
The Phillies removed two of their more disappointing pitchers of the last half decade from their 40-man roster.
Former first-round pick Phillippe Aumont, the lead prospect the team got in the trade that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle in December of 2009, and Cuban free agent import Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez were reassigned to Triple A Lehigh Valley. Gonzalez had been optioned to minor league camp on Sunday.
Aumont, 26, entered camp out of options; he cleared waivers before the Phillies sent him to Triple A. The 11th overall pick in the 2007 draft, Aumont is 1-5 with a 6.13 ERA in 45 games with the Phillies in the last three seasons.
"He just hasn't pitched well enough to be on our major league club," Amaro said.
Gonzalez, meanwhile, also went unclaimed on waivers, which was hardly surprising considering he's just in the second year of a 3-year, $12 million deal. Gonzalez, 28, didn't get promoted to the big leagues until September last season and allowed 25 hits in 14 1/3 innings this spring.
"We would rather put him on waivers than some of the other guys that we could have," Amaro said. "At this stage of the game, we figured it was kind of a calculated risk. It worked out for us."
The Phillies also reassigned outfielder Brian Bogusevic to minor league camp.
Freddy Galvis went 1-for-3 with his second home run in his last three games.
Galvis has gone 5-for-13 with two home runs, a double, two walks and one strikeout in his last four games. He's hitting .288 in 21 games and is tied for the team lead (with Odubel Herrera) with 19 hits.
After yesterday's game, Sandberg was asked if Galvis could replace Jimmy Rollins both as the team's shortstop and two-hole hitter in front of Utley and Ryan Howard.
"He's been doing the job, possibly," Sandberg said. "He's a candidate for the No. 2 spot with the adjustments he's made, the way he's played the game in the No. 2 spot . . . I think he's a very good candidate for that spot, also being a switch-hitter with the lefthanded bats at the top of the order."