24-year old switch-hitting catcher Andrew Knapp is a player on the rise in the Philadelphia Phillies‘ minor league system. He comes into this season as the Phillies’ #4 prospect according to Baseball America. He played in 118 games in A+AA-ball last year for the Phillies and he was 141 of 458 (.308 avg, .876 OPS) with 77 runs scored, 13 homers, 84 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Knapp has now played in 278 games in his first 3 years in the minors and he is 291 of 1,041 (.280 avg, .790 OPS) with 153 runs scored, 23 homers, 139 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. Knapp will have to keep playing well because the Phillies’ #5 prospect is also a catcher (Jorge Alfaro).
The Philadelphia Phillies have placed 27-year old righty reliever Michael Mariot on the 15-day disabled list due to an ankle injury. Mariot pitched in 2 games (0 starts) for the Royals last year and he was 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA and a 0.33 WHIP. He also pitched in 42 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball last year in which he was 4-2 with 8 saves, a 2.32 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Mariot has now pitched in 19 games (0 starts) in his first two years in the show and he is 1-0 with a 6.11 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP. Mariot will likely have to work his way up to the majors with a stint in the minors after he gets healthy.
The Philadelphia Phillies have placed 30-year old lefty starting pitcher Matt Harrison on the 60-day disabled list, as he continues to recover from back surgery. Harrison pitched in 3 games (all starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. He has now pitched in 135 games (103 starts) in his first 8 years in the show and he is 50-35 with 2 saves, a 4.21 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Harrison was an American League All-Star in 2008, and he finished 8th in the Cy Young voting that season. Harrison came to the Phillies on July 31, 2015…as he was part of the return they got when they dealt Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman to the Rangers. It will be a surprise if Harrison ever pitches for the Phillies.
The Philadelphia Phillies have placed 27-year old lefty reliever Mario Hollands on the 60-day disabled list, as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery. He missed the entire 2015 season. Hollands pitched in 50 games (0 starts) for the Phillies in 2014 and he was 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Hollands should be able to come back late in 2016 for the Phillies, if his rehab continues to go well.
The Philadelphia Phillies have placed 25-year old lefty swinging OF/3B Cody Asche on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained oblique muscle. Asche played in 129 games for the Phillies last year and he was 104 of 425 (.245 avg, .689 OPS) with 41 runs scored, 12 homers, 39 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He has now played in 300 games in his first three years with the Phillies and he is 242 of 984 (.246 avg, .693 OPS) with 102 runs scored, 27 homers, 107 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. The Phillies hope that Asche won’t miss too much time, as they need all of the help that they can get.
Last year the Philadelphia Phillies plucked CF Odubel Herrera from the Texas Rangers in the Rule 5 Draft and he was outstanding for them. So this year, the Phillies took 23-year old righty swinging outfielder Tyler Goeddel from the Tampa Bay Rays in the Rule 5 Draft. He has not only made the team, but he will be playing a lot early this year due to the massive amount of injuries to the Phillies’ outfielders so far this spring. Goeddel played in 20 games in spring training for the Phillies and he was 14 of 56 (.250 avg, .662 OPS) with 8 runs scored, 1 homer, 8 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He played in 123 games in AA-ball for the Rays last year and he was 132 of 473 (.279 avg, .783 OPS) with 68 runs scored, 12 homers, 72 RBIs and 28 stolen bases. Goeddel has now played in 451 games in his first four years in the minors and he is 439 of 1,676 (.262 avg, .739 OPS) with 224 runs scored, 31 homers, 244 RBIs and 108 stolen bases. The Phillies are leaving no rock un-turned when looking for talent on other teams’ rosters and that is a good thing.
The Philadelphia Phillies have sent 30-year old righty swinging catcher J.P. Arencibia to AAA to start the 2016 season. Arencibia played in 13 games in spring training for the Phillies and he was 7 for 26 (.269 avg, .912 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 2 homers and 3 RBIs. He played in 24 games for the Rays last year and he was 22 of 71 (.310 avg, .921 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 6 homers and 17 RBIs. Arencibia has now played in 467 games in his first six years in the majors and he is 333 of 1,573 (.212 avg, .670 OPS) with 169 runs scored, 80 homers, 245 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. If anything happens to Cameron Rupp, Carlos Ruiz or Darin Ruf……I see Arencibia being the first guy called up for the Phillies in 2016.
The Philadelphia Phillies have sent 31-year old righty Andrew Bailey and 30-year old righty Ernesto Frieri to the minors. Bailey pitched in 8 games (0 starts) for the Phillies this spring and he was 2-1 with a 5.63 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Bailey pitched in 10 games (0 starts) for the Yankees last year and he was 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. Bailey has now pitched in 216 games (0 starts) in his first six years in the show and he is 11-13 with 89 saves, a 2.74 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. Frieri pitched in 6 games (0 starts) for the Phillies this spring and he was 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. He pitched in 22 games (0 starts) for the Rays last year and he was 1-0 with 2 saves, a 4.63 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Frieri has now pitched in 298 games (0 starts) in his first seven years in the majors and he is 11-13 with 73 saves, a 3.55 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Bailey and Frieri have had success in their careers, so I could see either of them pitching for the Phillies later on in the 2016 season.
UPDATE: (4/5/2016) – The Phillies have released Ernesto Frieri.
The Philadelphia Phillies have released 29-year old righty starter/reliever Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. Gonzalez pitched in 6 games (all starts) in Rookie+AAA-ball last year and he was 0-2 with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. His only major league experience came back in 2014 for the Phillies when he pitched in 6 games (0 starts) and he was 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA and a 2.25 WHIP. This is next to no loss for the Phillies moving forward.
Make no mistake, the Philadelphia Phillies are rebuilding their baseball team around 22-year old righty swinging 3B Maikel Franco. Franco has played in 20 games so far in spring training for the Phillies and he is 18 for 61 (.295 avg, 1.060 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 8 homers and 20 RBIs. He really burst on the scene last year for the Phillies, as he played in 80 games in which he was 85 of 304 (.280 avg, .840 OPS) with 45 runs scored, 14 homers, 50 RBIs and 1 stolen base. I look for Franco to have a huge year in 2016, as long as he can stay healthy.