Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jonathan Pettibone was excited to get back to work with Spring Training underway, but soreness in his right shoulder has forced him to sit out of workouts for the time being.
There is cause for concern as the 23-year-old saw his 2013 season cut short due to inflammation in the same shoulder.
"We don't want to mess with him," general manager Ruben Amaro told reporters Sunday (via Philly.com). "We backed him off. It's something similar to what he had last year. We're just trying to nip it in the bud. He had some soreness so we decided to slow him down."
Despite starting 18 games for the Phillies last season with a 5-4 record and an ERA of 4.04, Pettibone already had some stiff competition in front of him to lock up a spot in the starting rotation. Due to the signing of 37-year-old veteran A.J. Burnett, we have Pettibone projected to start the year with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
"It's kind of the early stages of what happened last year," Pettibone said, "so it's good that we stopped it early."
He missed the final two months of his rookie season due to the injury. After a long winter of rehab, he had spent the last two or three weeks in Florida throwing bullpen sessions. Unfortunately, as CSNPhilly.com noted, as the intensity of the sessions picked up, the soreness recurred.
Pettibone told reporters that he expected to be back within “a few days” and Amaro was optimistic his pitcher would be ready to go for his next bullpen session.