Floyd Makes A Case For Sticking With Phils

Gavin Floyd has been on a mission to make the Phillies' starting rotation. With Ryan Madson's move to the rotation and the signing of Ryan Franklin this winter, his chances didn't look too good. Now though, another strong outing has him in the mix for a big league job.

Gavin Floyd isn't doing much thinking these days and that's just the way he wants it. He's taking the mound with a care free approach and it's working.

On Tuesday, Floyd threw his second straight strong outing, posting perhaps the best outing by a Phillies' pitcher this spring. Over five shutout innings, Floyd allowed two hits and two walks while striking out five to record his third win of the season. The outing dropped his spring ERA to 2.30 in Grapefruit League action.

Floyd is battling for a spot at the back end of the rotation, but both Ryan Madson and Ryan Franklin, the other candidates for the openings, are pitching well. The Phillies have their first three rotation spots set, but the final two are a battle ground. Madson has a 2.84 ERA in four outings and Franklin, who struggled early in camp, has lowered his ERA to 3.55 and pitches on Wednesday against Atlanta.

It's unlikely that Floyd would get a bullpen job with the Phillies, who would rather have him pitch in the rotation at AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre than send him to the bullpen. Last season, he was put in the Phillies bullpen and admitted that it bothered him, sending him into a season-long slump. The Phillies won't repeat that mistake and figure to either have him in their rotation or as insurance at AAA. They also aren't too high on the idea of moving Madson back to the bullpen and Franklin has been a starter throughout much of his major league career, but could be bounced to a long relief role with the club.

The Phillies beat the Tigers 7-4 in a split squad matchup in Clearwater. Pat Burrell, who is nursing a sore thigh and foot, returned to the lineup and blasted a two-run homerun. Eude Brito and Rob Tejeda, who are also fighting for bullpen jobs, both gave up two runs in an inning of work and appear to be pretty much out of the running for a major league assignment.

The other portion of the Phillies squad played the Pirates in Bradenton and picked up a 5-2 win. Chase Utley hit a first inning shot to put the Phillies up 2-0. Cory Lidle threw five shutout innings, giving up three hits and a walk, striking out five to almost mirror Floyd's day. Shane Victorino had three hits for the Phillies, who are now 14-6 in Grapefruit League play.

Spring Stats

Gavin Floyd 3 0 2.30 0 5 2 15.2 13 4 4 2 7 14
Ryan Franklin 2 1 3.55 0 4 4 12.2 14 5 5 1 4 10
Ryan Madson 1 0 2.84 0 4 3 12.2 8 4 4 1 3 11

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