The Philadelphia Phillies did not begin spring training with any controversy in their starting rotation, and they will not end the spring with any either.
With the release of right-hander Aaron Cook, the team has signaled they are moving forward without a true veteran to back up their starting staff in case of injury.
The team released Rodrigo Lopez last week, and with Cook’s release today, the AAA rotation will very likely have plenty of youth.
The only way Cook would have stolen a job with the Phillies this spring was to make it as a long reliever, a job that will likely go to Raul Valdes or Michael Stutes. Cook finished his time with the Phillies with a 3.38 ERA in 18.2 innings pitched.
The main knock on Cook throughout his career has been his inability to miss bats, and that was a problem for him this spring as well, as he had just five strikeouts.
Therefore, the Phillies will probably move on with Tyler Cloyd, Jon Pettibone, and Adam Morgan being the top possibilities to come up to the big club in case of injury.
It’s certainly a risk for a team to take, as none of those guys have extensive Major League experience; or in Pettibone and Morgan’s case, no Major League experience.
Cook could still return to the Phillies on a minor-league contract if he can’t find a Major League job, as the Phillies said Tuesday that the door was still open for that type of opportunity.
For now, however, the Phillies will move on without Cook and with a very inexperienced cavalry of starting pitchers in AAA.