Moyer hurls three shutout innings

Moyer hurls three shutout innings

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- If Jamie Moyer does indeed hold an edge for the vacant fifth-starter's job, he's not letting it go to his head. After firing three shutout innings in a "B" game Wednesday morning at Bright House Field, Moyer was asked where he planned to pitch next.

"Wherever they want," he said. "I'm just an employee."

To the best of Moyer's knowledge, that next outing will come on Sunday, perhaps even in a real spring game. Not that it matters. Despite being the only Phillies starter yet to participate in a Grapefruit League game, Moyer remains in prime position to beat out Kyle Kendrick for the fifth-starter's job.

Pitching coach Rich Dubee reiterated that much this week, saying that the job belongs to Moyer unless Kendrick takes it from him.

Wednesday's performance offered a glimpse of why. Facing mainly Blue Jays Minor Leaguers, Moyer allowed just two baserunners on a single and a hit batsman -- and he picked one of them off first.

Moyer threw just 31 pitches in anticipation of another outing on Sunday, and the Phillies won, 5-1.

Afterward, Moyer said that his 47-year-old arm felt "like it's supposed to," that the rest of him feels just fine and that health is not an issue. Which is good for a Phillies club that owes him $8 million this season.

Moyer underwent operations for a sports hernia and on his knee in the offseason, but he also had to be hospitalized two other times for complications following the hernia surgery. That included a third procedure to have an abscess removed from his groin.

Moyer also wasn't concerned with the fact that both of his impressive spring performances -- now six shutout innings in total -- have all come in "B" games against Minor Leaguers.

"They're all the same," Moyer said. "There are more people at an 'A' game, but I can't say there's any difference in intensity. 'A' game or 'B' game, I don't think I could go out there and lollygag it. I can't compete that way. There's a sense of personal pride, and I'm looking for results."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.