24-year old lefty swinging outfielder Odubel Herrera was taken from the Texas Rangers in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft. He then not only make the Philadelphia Phillies‘ roster, but he started in CF and had a rock solid rookie year. Herrera played in 147 games for the Phillies last year and he was 147 of 495 (.297 avg, .762 OPS) with 64 runs scored, 8 homers, 41 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. He hasn’t missed a beat so far in 2016 for the Phillies. He has played in 16 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 13 of 51 (.255 avg, .797 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 1 homer, 6 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Herrera is leading Major League Baseball so far this year in walks, as he already has 15 of them! That has helped him pump up his on-base percentage to an out of this world .424! The Phillies hope that Herrera keeps up the good work as they need all of the help that they can get.
The Philadelphia Phillies have designated 30-year old lefty reliever James Russell for assignment. Russell pitched in 7 games (0 starts) for the Phillies this year and he was 0-0 with a 18.69 ERA and a 3.23 WHIP. He gave up 9 hits (2 homers), 9 runs (all earned), walked 5 batters and he whiffed 4 batters in 4 1/3 innings for the Phillies, as he was hit hard. Russell has now pitched in 394 games (6 starts) in his first seven years in the show and he is 10-18 with 4 saves, a 4.09 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. The Phillies have called up 31-year old righty reliever Andrew Bailey to replace Russell in the pen. Bailey pitched in 4 games (0 starts) for the Phillies in AAA-ball this year and he was 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Bailey has 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. He was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2009 and he was an American League All-Star in 2009 and 2010. If Bailey is truly healthy, he will be a nice addition to the Phillies’ pen.
UPDATE: (4/22/2016) – The Philadelphia Phillies have outrighted James Russell to AAA. He will have a few days to decide to accept it or reject it and become a free agent.
The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired 27-year old righty swinging outfielder Alfredo Marte from the Baltimore Orioles for cash considerations or a player to be named later. Marte played in 2 games in AAA-ball for the Orioles this year and he was 0 for 5 (.000 avg, .000 OPS) with 2 whiffs. Marte has played in 71 games in his first three years in the majors and he is 28 of 155 (.181 avg, .532 OPS) with 12 runs scored, 2 homers, 13 RBIs and 1 stolen base. This is just the Phillies taking a flier on a player that is close to the majors that could help them at some point in 2016.
The Philadelphia Phillies have called up 30-year old lefty swinging outfielder David Lough. Lough played in 6 games in AAA-ball for the Phillies this year and he was 7 for 25 (.280 avg, .628 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 0 homers, 2 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Lough played last year with the Orioles. He has now played in 312 games in his first four years in the majors and he is 174 of 682 (.255 avg, .672 OPS) with 89 runs scored, 13 homers, 63 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. The Phillies have sent 28-year old lefty swinging outfielder Cedric Hunter to AAA to open up the roster spot for Lough. Hunter played in 13 games for the Phillies this year and he was 3 for 34 (.088 avg, .315 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer and 1 RBI. Hunter has now played in 19 games in his first two years in the show and he is 4 of 38 (.105 avg, .355 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 1 homer and 1 RBI.
UPDATE: (4/25/2016) – Cedric Hunter has cleared waivers and he has been outrighted to AAA.
23-year old righty starting pitcher Vincent Velasquez is off to a blazing start for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2016! He has started 2 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.60 WHIP. He has tossed a complete game shutout this year and he has only allowed 6 hits and 3 walks in his first 15 innings this year while whiffing a very, very impressive 25 batters! Velasquez was part of the return for righty reliever Ken Giles in the Phillies’ big deal over the winter with the Astros! He pitched in 19 games (7 starts) for the Astros last year in his first taste of the majors and he was 1-1 with a 4.37 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Kudos to the Phillies’ front office and scouting staff for seeing through the stats that Velasquez put up last year!
25-year old lefty reliever Daniel Stumpf of the Philadelphia Phillies has been suspended for 80 games due to him testing positive for PEDs. Stumpf pitched in 3 games (0 starts) for the Phillies so far this year and he is 0-0 with a 40.50 ERA and a 4.50 WHIP. He has pitched 2/3 of an inning for the Phillies so far this year and he has given up 1 hit (it was a homer), 3 runs (all earned) and he has walked 2 batters without whiffing any. He was a Rule 5 Draft pick over the winter from the Kansas City Royals. The Phillies have called up 24-year old lefty reliever Elvis Araujo to replace Stumpf in the bullpen. He pitched in 1 game (0 starts) in AAA-ball for the Phillies this year and he was 0-0 with 1 save, a 0.00 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP. He got his first taste of the majors in 2015 with the Phillies, as he worked in 40 games (0 starts) for them in which he was 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. Araujo is a better pitcher than Stumpf, so the Phillies are a better team than they were before.
28-year old lefty swinging outfielder Cedric Hunter won a spot in the Philadelphia Phillies‘ starting outfield in spring training, but he won’t keep it too much longer if he doesn’t start to hit better. Hunter has played in 8 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 2 for 21 (.095 avg, .412 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer and 1 RBI. He has only whiffed four times so far this year, so he is hitting the ball…..he’s just not finding holes right now. His only other Major League experience came back in 2011 with the San Diego Padres. Hunter played in 6 games for the Padres in 2011 and he was 1 for 4 (.250 avg, .650 OPS) with 1 run scored.
The Philadelphia Phillies‘ bullpen stunk in the opening series of the season against the Reds, which has opened the door for 28-year old righty reliever Jeanmar Gomez to get a chance to close. He has pitched in 3 games (0 starts) for the Phillies so far this year and he is 0-0 with 2 saves, a 0.00 ERA and a 0.33 WHIP. He has given up 1 hit and no walks while whiffing 2 batters in his first 3 innings this year. Gomez pitched in 65 games (0 starts) for the Phillies last year in his first year with them and he was 2-3 with a 3.01 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. It will be interesting to see if Gomez can pitch well enough to remain the Phillies’ closer.
22-year old lefty swinging outfielder Andrew Pullin has retired from the Philadelphia Phillies. Pullin played in 123 games in A-ball for the Phillies last year and he was 127 of 493 (.258 avg, .696 OPS) with 55 runs scored, 14 homers, 73 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Pullin played in 344 games in his four years in the minors and he was 360 of 1,336 (.269 avg, .715 OPS) with 158 runs scored, 28 homers, 170 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. Pullin gave no reason for his retirement.
27-year old righty swinging Cameron Rupp was named the starting catcher by the Philadelphia Phillies after spring training, but 37-year old righty swinging Carlos Ruiz isn’t giving up his gig without a fight. Ruiz has played in 2 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 3 for 7 (.429 avg, 1.500 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 1 double, 1 homer and 2 RBIs. Ruiz played in 86 games for the Phillies last year and he was only 60 for 284 (.211 avg, .575 OPS) with 23 runs scored, 2 homers, 22 RBIs and 1 stolen base. It’s not like Rupp tore the cover off the ball last year either. He played in 81 games for the Phillies last year in which he was 63 of 270 (.233 avg, .675 OPS) with 24 runs scored, 9 homers and 28 RBIs. Rupp has played in 2 games so far this year for the Phillies and he is 1 for 8 (.125 avg, .375 OPS) with a double and five whiffs. Let’s face it, the Phillies aren’t going anywhere in 2016 and neither Ruiz or Rupp are the catchers of the future for them, so why not roll with the hot hand? If Ruiz can re-establish himself as a legit starting type catcher, the Phillies could get something for him at the trade deadline.