Nearly a half hour before they had to make a decision, the Phillies pulled the plug on Aaron Cook.

Brought in on a minor-league contract this spring, Cook was seen as a veteran starter who could fill in with the Phillies’ rotation, should a starter fall prey to injury.

With his release, the Phillies appear to be going with in-house talent for that spot.

“I think they’ve all gotten good experience and hopefully they’ll continue to get experience before we have a need for them,” Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. “But I don’t think we’re afraid to put whoever…in a position where we’d need them at the major league level.”

The Phillies had until noon today to make a decision about Cook: they could promise him a spot on the opening day roster, send him to Triple-A and pay him a $100,000 retention bonus or release him.

Cook is now a free agent.

Those minor-league guys — Adam Morgan, Jon Pettibone, Tyler Cloyd, B.J. Rosenberg and and Ethan Martin — will likely be the opening day rotation for the Triple-A IronPigs, the pool they will now draw from should a starter in Philadelphia go down.