- Major League Baseball announced Monday it has extended Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera’s administrative leave through July 1. This is the second time MLB has taken this action since it originally placed him on leave May 28, a day after Herrera was arrested on a simple assault charge relating to a domestic violence incident. MLB previously extended Herrera’s leave through today back on June 3.
Quinn, 26, has shown promise at times but has rarely stayed healthy long enough for a full assessment. The toolsy youngster is back from a groin strain that cost him a big chunk of the early portion of the season. He ought to have a solid opportunity in the run-up to the trade deadline to prove he deserves a steady outfield job.
Eickhoff returned well after a long injury layoff, but was recently been bumped to the bullpen after a rough stretch. His first relief recent outing was even worse, as he was bombed for five earned runs on six hits (including two long balls) while recording just three outs. He’ll get a chance to take a breather and try to build back towards the majors.
The Phillies have outrighted infielder Phil Gosselin after he cleared waivers, per a club announcement. He has been assigned to Triple-A, but still has the right to reject the assignment.
While the 30-year-old Gosselin brings a solid and versatile glove, he has never really come around fully with the bat. He’s slashing .262/.310/.356 in 629 career plate appearances in the majors. Gosselin is a .291 hitter in over a thousand trips to the dish at Triple-A, but only carries a .338 OBP and .399 slug at the highest level of the minors.
The Phillies welcomed Pat Neshek back from the injured list today, activating the veteran reliever from the 10-day IL after he missed three weeks due to rotator cuff inflammation. Cole Irvin was also called up from Triple-A for his third taste of MLB action this season, while the Phillies optioned Edgar Garcia and Ranger Suarez back to the minors to make roster space for Neshek and Irvin.
Neshek has a 4.67 ERA over 17 1/3 innings this season, though that number is a little deceptive. Neshek’s final outing before hitting the IL saw him allow three runs in just two-thirds of an inning, inflating what had been a respectable 3.24 ERA. Overall, Neshek has allowed runs in just five of his 19 appearances, though his K/9 sits at just 4.7, marking the second straight year that Neshek (whose career K/9 is 8.7) hasn’t missed many bats.
With one good bit of injury news in the form of Neshek’s return, the Phillies are hopeful of avoiding another IL stint after Jay Bruce had to leave last night’s game due to left hamstring tightness. Bruce is considered day-to-day, and the club believes the outfielder won’t need any time on the injured list, Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. The Phillies are short enough in the outfield as it is, though Bruce has been an incredible boon since being acquired from the Mariners on June 2. Bruce has already hit five homers and posted a .308/.341/.744 slash line over his first 41 plate appearances in a Phillies uniform.
Bryce Harper, Scott Kingery, and Nick Williams lined up right to left in Philadelphia’s outfield today against the Braves, with Brad Miller and Sean Rodriguez available as utility options off the bench. None of this group, not even Kingery, is a true center fielder, as the Phillies didn’t get Roman Quinn back from the IL this weekend as expected. Quinn has been limited to just seven games this season due to both an oblique strain suffered at the end of Spring Training, and then a groin strain that has sidelined him since April 25. According to Lauber, Quinn “felt discomfort” after being hit in the shoulder with a pitch on Friday during his Double-A rehab assignment, though Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told reporters the latest setback isn’t thought to be serious.
Phillies righty Seranthony Dominguez has avoided Tommy John surgery — for the time being, at least. He instead will rehab through an injury to his ulnar collateral ligament after receiving a platelet-rich plasma treatment, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports on Twitter.
Dominguez is expected to receive four to six weeks of rest before trying to ramp back up. That means he could have a ball in his hand by late July, potentially making him an option down the stretch for the Phils.
It’s promising to hear that this course of treatment was recommended. Dominguez headed out to Dr. James Andrews expecting the worst, but “hoping for a miracle.” He’ll still need to respond well to treatment and avoid further injury, but it seems he’ll have a shot at avoiding TJS and its year-plus rehabilitation timeline.
The news provides another glimmer of hope for a Philadelphia relief unit that has been racked by injury. The team won’t be able to assume much of anything regarding Dominguez, and will surely be on the hunt for relief additions this summer regardless, but it should have some sense whether Dominguez is likely to be a late-season option while it weighs deadline moves.
Just added in a low-cost trade, the 29-year-old Miller will take his next crack at the majors as a Philadelphia reserve. The versatile performer has experience all over the field, though he hasn’t always graded well with the glove. He’ll help to balance an otherwise all-righty infield mix while also bringing much more potential pop than the man he’ll replace.
Miller produced at a just-below-league-average rate (.250/.325/.417) in forty plate appearances to open the year with the Indians. He was bumped from the roster when the Cleveland organization got back to full health and landed with the Yankees’ top affiliate. In 163 plate appearances at Triple-A, Miller carries a .294/.399/.596 batting line with ten long balls.
It’s best to temper expectations, but Miller could certainly be a useful part of the roster. He has typically produced at around a league-average rate in the big leagues, occasionally showing more power or more on-base ability but rarely putting it all together. The Phillies can hope to squeeze out some added value by utilizing Miller almost exclusively against right-handed pitching; he has a career 108-71 wRC+ spread.
Gosselin, 30, has only a .245/.260/.306 slash in fifty plate appearances this year and has never rarely done much damage at the plate in 629 career trips to the MLB dish. The former fifth-round pick does keep receiving opportunities, so teams obviously trust his glove and feel he provides competitive at-bats. Having previously been outrighted, Gosselin will have the right to elect free agency if he isn’t traded or claimed.
The Phillies have announced that they have acquired veteran utilityman Brad Miller from the Yankees for cash considerations.
Miller will be joining his fourth different team of the 2019 season, following an offseason minor league contract with the Dodgers, and then subsequent minors pacts with the Indians and Yankees. Miller appeared in 13 big league games for the Tribe, and has been tearing up Triple-A pitching in the Yankees’ farm system, with a massive .994 OPS over 163 PA for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
While he did hit 30 homers for the Rays in 2016, Miller hasn’t been able to provide much consistency over 2545 career plate appearances for Seattle, Tampa, Milwaukee, and Cleveland. His career .240/.313/.409 slash line grades him as an exactly league-average 100 OPS+ for his career, though he’s had notably more success against right-handed pitching. This will provide Philadelphia with a sorely-needed left-handed bat for their bench mix.
Miller isn’t known as much of a defender no matter the position, though he has experience at all seven infield and outfield positions over his seven-year career. He has exclusively worked in the infield over the last three seasons, however, so Miller could handle those duties while Jay Bruce and Scott Kingery see more time in the Phils’ troubled outfield.
With Miller now in the fold and Roman Quinn returning from the injured list this weekend, the Phillies are looking at a significant shakeup of their bench. Miller’s presence could make one of Sean Rodriguez or Phil Gosselin redundant, while Quinn could supplant Nick Williams as the primary backup outfielder.
The Phillies and right-hander John Curtiss have agreed to a minor league contract, according to Roster Roundup (Twitter link). The 26-year-old Curtiss elected free agency earlier in the month rather than accepting an outright assignment with the Angels.
The former Twins prospect was designated for assignment by Minnesota over the winter and traded to the Halos, but he’s struggled through a poor season in Triple-A so far. In 21 1/3 innings, he’s allowed 14 runs (5.91 ERA) on 20 hits and 13 walks with 29 strikeouts. Curtiss also pitched 2 1/3 frames for the Angels’ big league club and allowed a run. This year’s struggles notwithstanding, Curtiss has a strong track record in Triple-A. Through 101 innings there, he’s pitched to a 3.21 ERA and has averaged 11 K/9 against a less palatable 4.8 BB/9.
It’s only logical to see the Phillies scouring the market for bullpen depth. Philadelphia is currently without David Robertson, Seranthony Dominguez, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, Victor Arano and Adam Morgan. That’s basically an entire big league bullpen — and a good one, at that — on the injured list. Curtiss will give the team another option in Triple-A, should further injuries arise at the Major League level.
The Phillies struck a $850K deal with right-hander Josh Gessner, according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez (via Twitter). It seems the move was already known about overseas, as Cleve Dheensaw of the Times Colonist reported the decision a few days back.
This move comes days after the Phils added bonus pool money in a swap with the Orioles. With little time left in this year’s international signing window, that swap only paid dividends because the Philadelphia club had a clear idea how it’d use the funds.
Gessner had been committed to attend Tulane University. There aren’t many details available about the Aussie hurler, though he obviously drew MLB scouts and impressed enough to take down a significant bonus.
The Phillies have moved right-hander Jerad Eickhoff from the starting rotation to the bullpen, manager Gabe Kapler told reporters Tuesday (Twitter link via Matt Breen of Philly.com). The Phils have not yet determined who’ll start in his place, but Kapler ruled out top prospect Adonis Medina as an option, Breen notes.
Eickhoff, 28, made an impressive return to the Phillies’ rotation earlier this year after some prolonged injury troubles, pitching to a 1.50 ERA through his first five games of the season. Since that time, he’s been tagged for 27 runs in 27 1/3 innings while yielding a sky-high 16 home runs (five in his most recent outing). Injuries limited Eickhoff to just 5 1/3 innings in 2018 and a total of 133 1/3 innings from 2017-18, but he did give the Phillies 197 innings of 3.65 ERA ball back in 2016. If Eickhoff’s struggles continue in relief, he does have minor league options remaining.
Rotation alternatives in the big league bullpen include Ranger Suarez and Vince Velasquez, while Triple-A hurlers Cole Irvin, Enyel De Los Santos and Drew Anderson are all on the 40-man roster as well. The Phillies could also explore the idea of utilizing an opener or even look for another option outside the organization.
It’s been a rough year for Phillies starters, as Nick Pivetta has been inconsistent while neither Aaron Nola nor Jake Arrieta has pitched to expectations. Nola and Arrieta, in particular, have seen their struggles coincide with those of Eickhoff. The Phillies still have a 15-13 record over the past month despite their ineffective rotation, but the Braves have substantially closed the gap in what is now a tied division by playing at a 17-9 pace over that same stretch. Philadelphia is widely expected to be aggressive on the trade market this winter, and the rotation looks to be an increasingly logical target area for general manager Matt Klentak and his staff.