CLEARWATER, Fla. - The sensation in Ken Giles' back was described to Ruben Amaro Jr. as milder than the ailment that slowed third baseman Cody Asche for four days. The Phillies general manager does not anticipate a stint on the disabled list for the team's promising setup man.
"We wouldn't risk it if we think it's a risk," Amaro said.
Giles exited his outing Tuesday after facing two batters. The 24-year-old downplayed the injury afterward, calling it "just tightness." Wednesday, Amaro called it a mild mid-back strain. The pitcher's status is day-to-day, Amaro said, but "we'll probably know more in the next 48 hours."
The Phillies will need to see Giles throw off a mound before Monday's season opener if he is to pitch against the Red Sox. That could happen this weekend in one of the exhibition games against the Pirates at Citizens Bank Park or in a side session in the bullpen.
Giles allowed six runs over 82/3 Grapefruit League innings. He recorded 10 strikeouts but also issued eight walks.
An offshoot of Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez's woeful spring is that the Phillies passed the once-touted Cuban righthander through waivers unclaimed.
If another team claimed Gonzalez, it would have assumed the final two seasons on the three-year, $12 million contract he signed in August 2013. Gonzalez allowed 12 runs and 25 hits in 141/3 Grapefruit League innings. He will pitch in triple A.
The Phillies have three open 40-man roster spots, which could be filled this weekend by non-roster spring training invitees still competing for jobs. The team has eight more cuts to make by Sunday.
After a visit to orthopedic surgeon James Andrews, lefthanded reliever Mario Hollands is still "likely" to undergo season-ending surgery on his pitching elbow, Amaro said. He said a final decision has not been made.
"We're still sifting through the information," Amaro said. Once he returns to Philadelphia, Hollands will undergo an ultrasound so doctors can get another look at his strained flexor tendon. The 26-year-old will start the season on the disabled list.
Aaron Harang will start Friday opposite Pittsburgh's Jeff Locke in the exhibition at Citizens Bank Park. David Buchanan will oppose the Pirates' Charlie Morton on Saturday. . . . Brian Bogusevic, a non-roster invitee who hit .306 over 36 spring at-bats, was reassigned to minor-league camp. . . . Former Phillies Tommy Greene and Marlon Anderson will appear as analysts on Comcast SportsNet's pregame and postgame shows this season.