CLEARWATER, Fla. — While Chase Utley hysteria set in Monday morning, the Phillies released righthander Joel Pineiro.
Pineiro was signed with the hopes of providing starting rotation depth, but he could ask for his release come March 30 if he wasn't added to the major-league roster. It's possible the Phillies told Pineiro that chance wouldn't come in Philadelphia and released him now to allow the 33-year-old time to find a job elsewhere.
Pineiro appeared in three games this spring, starting one, and allowed three runs in six innings. He struck out three and walked two.
Scott Elarton starts for the Phillies in Monday's Grapefruit League game and with a solid outing, he could seal a spot in the triple-A rotation. The other likely IronPigs starters are Austin Hyatt, Dave Bush, Pat Misch and Nate Bump.
With the roster move, the Phillies have 45 players remaining in camp.