24-year old righty starting pitcher Alec Asher of the Philadelphia Phillies has been suspended for 80 games for testing positive for PEDs. Asher pitched in 8 games (all starts) in AA+AAA-ball this year for the Phillies and he was 4-2 with a 2.30 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP. Asher got his first taste of the majors last year and it didn’t go too well at all! Asher pitched in 7 games (all starts) for the Phillies last year and he was 0-6 with a 9.31 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP. He gave up 42 hits (8 homers) and 10 walks while whiffing 16 batters in 29 innings for the Phillies last year, so he got hit really, really hard last year! Asher really blew it as the Phillies would likely have called him up later this year.
23-year old righty swinging 3B Maikel Franco has been rock solid for the Philadelphia Phillies so far this year. He has played in 60 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 57 of 226 (.252 avg, .738 OPS) with 19 runs scored, 11 homers and 33 RBIs. Franco is leading the Phillies in both homers and RBIs so far this year. He is also third on the team in runs scored. His production numbers would be a lot better if he had better hitters in front of and behind him in the lineup. Franco has now played in 156 games in his first three years with the Phillies and he is 152 of 586 (.259 avg, .760 OPS) with 69 runs scored, 25 homers, 88 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Franco is the player the Phillies are going to build around in the field.
The Philadelphia Phillies have called up 22-year old righty starting pitcher Zach Eflin. Eflin came into this season as the Phillies’ #13 prospect according to Baseball America. Eflin pitched in 11 games (all starts) in AAA-ball for the Phillies this year and he was 5-2 with a 2.90 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. Eflin gave up 49 hits and 11 walks while whiffing 55 batters in his first 68 1/3 innings in the minors this year, which are pretty impressive numbers. Eflin has pitched in 84 games (83 starts) in his first five years in the minors and he is 30-22 with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. This will be his first shot at pitching in the show. 29-year old righty reliever Luis Garcia was sent to AAA to make a roster spot for Eflin. Garcia has pitched in 2 games (0 starts) for the Phillies so far this year and he is 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP.
33-year old lefty swinging outfielder Will Venable has opted out of his minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. He played in 41 games in AAA-ball for the Phillies this year and he was 26 of 127 (.205 avg, .611 OPS) with 12 runs scored, 2 homers, 19 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Venable has played in 955 games in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 706 of 2,818 (.251 avg, .722 OPS) with 376 runs scored, 81 homers, 307 RBIs and 135 stolen bases. Venable could be nearing the end of his career.
The Philadelphia Phillies have called up 29-year old righty reliever Luis Garcia. Garcia pitched in 1 game (0 starts) earlier this year for the Phillies and he was 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. Garcia has also pitched in 21 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball this year for the Phillies in which he is 3-1 with 1 save, a 2.77 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Garcia has now pitched in 110 games (0 starts) in his first four years with the Phillies and he is 6-7 with 2 saves, a 3.90 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP.
The Philadelphia Phillies have placed 24-year old righty starting pitcher Vincent Velasquez on the 15-day disabled list due to a right biceps strain. Velasquez has pitched in 12 games (all starts) for the Phillies so far this year and he is 5-2 with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. He has given up 56 hits and 22 walks while whiffing 73 batters in his first 61 2/3 innings so far this year, which are pretty impressive numbers. Velasquez started this season really strongly, starting four games in April in which he was 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP. But, since May 1st, he has struggled a bit. He has started 8 games since May 1st, and he is 2-1 with a 4.95 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. I have to think that he has been hurting for a little bit and tried to fight through it. The Phillies were smart to shut him down for at least a couple of weeks, as he is very important to their future!
19-year old righty starting pitched Adonis Medina came into this season as the Philadelphia Phillies‘ #9 prospect according to Baseball America. He pitched in 10 games (8 starts) in Rookie ball last year and he was 3-2 with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. He has given up 42 hits and 12 walks while whiffing 35 batters in his first 45 1/3 innings so far this year. Medina has now pitched in 21 games (10 starts) in his first two years in the minors and he is 5-5 with 1 save, a 2.39 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. The Phillies are not going to rush Medina.
37-year old righty swinging catcher Carlos Ruiz could be nearing the end of the line for the Philadelphia Phillies, just like Ryan Howard. Ruiz has played in 23 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 19 of 84 (.226 avg, .670 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 3 homers and 7 RBIs. He has now played in 1,044 games in his first 11 years with the Phillies and he is 874 of 3,297 (.265 avg, .745 OPS) with 380 runs scored, 68 homers, 396 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. Ruiz was an All-Star as recently as 2012 (his only time on the team so far in his career). He has also played in 46 games in the post-season for the Phillies and he is 36 of 142 (.254 avg, .789 OPS) with 19 runs scored, 4 homers, 15 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. Ruiz helped the Phillies win the World Series in 2008. Ruiz is #35 in games played in Phillies’ history with 1,044 of them. He is also #43 in hits (874), #26 in doubles (210), #39 in homers (68), #41 in RBIs (396) and #34 in walks (371) in Phillies’ history. It will be sad to see Ruiz and Howard go, but they are both running on fumes right now.
The Philadelphia Phillies have activated 27-year old lefty reliever Mario Hollands off the D.L. Hollands had Tommy John surgery in April of 2015. He has pitched in 8 games (0 starts) in A+AA+AAA-ball on his rehab assignment this year and he was 0-0 with a 1.46 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. His only Major League experience came back in 2014 for the Phillies, when he worked in 40 games (0 starts) in which he was 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.
The Philadelphia Phillies have activated 25-year old lefty swinging OF/3B Cody Asche off the D.L. Asche played in 15 games in A+AA+AAA-ball on his rehab assignment this year and he was 10 for 59 (.169 avg, .629 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 4 homers and 8 RBIs. He has 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. This is good news for the Phillies as they need outfield help and Asche should be able to give them a boost there.