Pirates assign Phillips to Triple-A Indianapolis

Published 11:28 pm Friday, April 3, 2009

The Pittsburgh Pirates officially reassigned infielder Andy Phillips to Minor League camp Wednesday, ending the Demopolis native’s bid for an opening day roster spot.

Phillips entered spring training with the expectation that his versatility made him a frontrunner for one of Pittsburgh’s utility positions.

While he has played most of his MLB career as a first baseman, Phillips has made 31 of his Major League appearances at third base and eight at second.

He also appeared in the outfield three times, including twice for the New York Mets in 2008 before returning to the Reds..

Phillips’ ability to show his versatility endured a significant blow when he sustained a lower back injury in early March and missed three weeks.

While he did return to the field, the time he lost allowed infielder Luis Cruz to gain favor with the Pittsburgh management.

Phillips is expected to start the season at Triple-A Indianapolis where he will await another opportunity. According to reporter Jenifer Langosch of the MLB.com, Phillips may receive a callup shortly after the season starts pending his health.

A career .250 hitter, Phillips averaged .421 with two doubles, seven RBI and three runs scored through 19 at-bats this spring.