DUNEDIN, Fla. - Edward Mujica waited to hear his fate Monday as he pitched a scoreless inning in a 2-1 loss to Toronto.
The righthanded reliever expects to learn Tuesday morning whether the Phillies plan to add him to their opening-day roster. Mujica gave the team notice Saturday that he intended to exercise his contractual opt-out clause. The Phillies had 48 hours to decide whether Mujica is a part of their bullpen, which began to take shape Monday morning when the team sent five relief pitchers to minor-league camp.
"It's crazy," Mujica said. "This is my first time, and I just waited on Saturday and Sunday and today, and they didn't say anything to me."
Mujica has allowed two runs and four hits this spring in 81/3 innings. He has struck out seven batters and walked two. The 31-year-old is one of 10 relievers left in camp who are vying for seven bullpen roles.
Righthanders Jeanmar Gomez, David Hernandez, Dalier Hinojosa, and lefthander Brett Oberholtzer are considered certainties to be with the team Monday when the Phillies open the season in Cincinnati. Daniel Stumpf, a lefthander acquired in the Rule 5 draft, appears to have earned a spot. As did lefthander James Russell, since the Phillies will likely keep three lefthanders in their bullpen with a starting rotation of five righthanders.
"Since we're building for the future as well as starting this year, it's important that you have a -year-old lefthander with what I consider good stuff. You don't want to just give him back," manager Pete Mackanin said of Stumpf.
Mujica is competing for the final spot with righthanders Andrew Bailey, Ernesto Frieri, and Hector Neris. Bailey cannot opt out of his contract until May 1, allowing the Phillies to stash him at triple A. Frieri started camp slow but allowed just three hits in his last three innings. Neris still has minor-league options remaining in his contract.