PHILADELPHIA -- There were few surprises early Saturday morning, when the Phillies unveiled their Opening Day roster prior to their final spring tuneup against the Blue Jays. After what proved to be a relatively quiet seven weeks in Clearwater, Fla., the Phillies' lineup had all but worked itself out long before this weekend's On-Deck Series at Citizens Bank Park.
Unlike a year ago, when the Phillies opened the year with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard on the disabled list, and the health of starter Roy Halladay was a looming concern, 2013 has stayed more to plan.
That said, general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., is the first to concede that no roster is airtight over the course of a 162-game season.
"It has a chance to change a lot," Amaro said. "That's one of the beauties of our young players is they all have options. We have the ability to move [pitchers] that aren't pitching up to what we believe their standards to be and we can adjust."
For this franchise, the key remains pitching, in particular a rotation that includes first-time Opening Day starter Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Halladay. Kyle Kendrick and John Lannan, each of whom pitched Saturday against the Blue Jays, round out the back end of the rotation.
"The rotation is still a strength for us," Amaro said. "You have to have good pitching in this division. I like our rotation. I like the balance of it. We have experience throughout, and in some cases, arguably three guys that are No. 1's, and it's time to see if they pitch like No. 1's."
The Phillies reassigned infielder Pete Orr, catcher Steve Lerud and right-hander Zach Miner to the Minor Leagues, and optioned right-hander Michael Stutes. Delmon Young was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22 as he continues to recover from offseason ankle surgery, with Rule 5 Draft pick Ender Inciarte making the roster as a fifth outfielder, likely until Young returns in late April or early May.
Phillies keep three lefties in 'pen, option Stutes
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies kept seven relievers on their Opening Day roster, including three lefties in Antonio Bastardo, Jeremy Horst and Raul Valdes. Right-hander Michael Stutes was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, two years after he was a key component to the 2011 National League East title run, but a year after he made just six appearances before shoulder inflammation shut him down and prompted arthroscopic surgery in the offseason.
"Valdes and Horst really pitched well," Amaro said. "They pitched consistently, and having Valdes from the left side and Chad Durbin from the right, it gives us some balance. I like having three left-handers. The guys we kept, frankly, did a nice job this spring.
"That's the message we gave [Stutes]. We didn't forget what he did for us two years ago. He just needs to get back and get his reps. He hasn't pitched for almost a year, but he needs to gain some consistency."
Mike Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.