DUNEDIN, Fla. — The spring training game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays scheduled for Saturday was rained out.
Toronto manager John Gibbons said a decision on the team’s fifth starter will likely not be made until the final week of camp. Aaron Sanchez, Jesse Chavez and Gavin Floyd are competing for the spot.
"They were all prepared, there’s a lot at stake for all of them and they’re all responding," Gibbons said. "That’s a good thing, but (it’s) tough on us."
Phillies: Jeremy Hellickson, who was scheduled to start, will instead pitch Sunday against Houston. The 2011 AL Rookie of the Year is a candidate to start the season opener at Cincinnati on April 4.
Blue Jays: Floyd, who was limited to 21 games since 2013 because of elbow injuries, was set to pitch for Toronto. Instead, he will start either against Pittsburgh on Sunday or in a minor league game.
Blue Jays: 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion (strained oblique) continues to improve in his individual rehabilitation program, but there has been no date set for his spring training debut, Gibbons said.
The two-time All-Star has missed all 18 games recovering from injury, including an abscessed tooth that was pulled on Feb. 28.
Gibbons is optimistic that Encarnacion will be ready for opening day on April 3 at Tampa Bay but acknowledged that the slugger needs to get a necessary number of at-bats before then.
"If he’s healthy and he’s able to play some games down there, he’ll be in there. It’s not ideal, but what are we going to do about it, really?" Gibbons said. "He’s a key part of this team, and the key is you’ve got to get rid of the (injury) so it doesn’t linger and causes a problem throughout the season. That’s the No. 1 factor right now."
The Phillies reassigned 1B/OF Brock Stassi to minor league camp and INF Taylor Featherston to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.