Buck on Phillips, J.J. welcomes a son

One of the pleasant surprises in spring was Zach Phillips, and it was a little shocking that he was the final cut from camp. Asked if it was a tough call to option Phillips to Triple-A, manager Buck Showalter said it wasn’t even a call.

“We sent guys down that last year would have made the club easily, Zach’s one of those guys,” Showalter said of Phillips who pitched to a 1.35 ERA over 13 1/3 innings in 11 spring games “It’s one of those things you don’t try to tell him why except the honest part of it. He’ll be back at some point. He had a great spring and we’re lucky to have him. And he’s unlucky to have an option.”

Phillips held left-handed hitters to a .095 batting average this spring and his optioning give the Orioles bullpen just one lefty in Troy Patton, who is out of options and on his first Opening Day roster.

*Also, a congratulations to Orioles reliever Jim Johnson and wife Elizabeth, who welcomed their second child, son Levi Michael, on Tuesday. Johnson was away from the team the last two days, but was back in the clubhouse for Thursday’s workout. The couple also have a daughter, Abigail.

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