Philadelphia Phillies

Are More Changes Coming for the Phillies Before the All-Star Break?

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On Tuesday afternoon, the news broke and Phillies fans all over Twitter rejoiced. The Phillies finally pulled the trigger and DFA’d outfielder Michael Saunders and relief pitcher Jeanmar Gomez. Both players were struggling mightily through the first 2 1/2 months of the season.

Saunders, who was signed to a one-year $9 million contract in the offseason, was batting .205 at the time of the move which was 8th worst in the majors out of 165 qualified players. His .257 OBP was the 3rd worst in the majors.

Gomez was slated to be the Phillies’ closer at the beginning of the year, but carriered over his September 2016 performance into the 2017 season. September saw Gomez’s ERA jump from a very respectable 2.97 to a dismal 4.85 to finish the season. He had a 9.64 ERA since Aug. 14th.

Cameron Perkins (OF) and Hoby Milner (LHP) got the call from AAA Lehigh Valley to replace them on the main roster.

Perkins had a .388 OBP in the International League, the highest on the Iron Pigs and 3rd highest in the league.

Milner had a 2.60 ERA in 22 games as a reliever for the Pigs.

Any change has become a welcome sight for Phillies fans. The team has gone 1-12 in their last 13 games. Since winning 11 of their first 20 games, they have only matched that win total going a historically bad 11-38. But it begs to question, “Are more changes coming soon?”

Last night, the Phillies took a 1-1 tie with the St. Louis Cardinals to extra innings and managed to lose 8-1.

33 year old relief pitcher Casey Fien’s ERA rose to a frightening 11.25 since being called up and Edubray Ramos ended up walking 2 to start the 11th which came around to score. His ERA is up to 4.55.

Maikel Franco went 1-4 and is hitting .224 on the season. Just a couple weeks ago it was being discussed whether he should be demoted to AAA or not. Since June 10th, Franco has been able to bring his average up from .208 to .224. Any move involving Franco seems unlikely without any 3B prospect behind him.

Fien would be the most likely to be the next to move for the Phillies. He had a 15.00 ERA with the Mariners through 6 games earlier in the season  and has allowed 5 earned runs in 4 games with the Phillies since being called up.

Switch pitcher Pat Venditte has been having a similar season to Milner in AAA. He has an ERA of 2.35 through 25 games and could be a fun distraction from the 2017 Phillies. It’s not everyday that you see a switch pitcher in the big leagues.

Besides that, there doesn’t seem to be many other moves that the Phillies would make at this time. Many people have clamored for prospects Scott Kingery, Rhys Hoskins, Dylan Cousins, and Nick Williams to be called up but there isn’t much room for any of them to get playing time on the big club right now.

Hoskins’ 1B is being manned by Tommy Joseph who is just coming off a 14-game hitting streak. Cousin and Williams’s potential outfield spots are pretty much non-existent with Odubel Herrera  hitting .342 in June and Perkins being called up to fill Saunders spot.

Kingery had the best shot after Cesar Hernandez went on the DL, but Howie Kendrick has shifted to fill that role at second base.

Time will tell if the Phillies makes any more moves before the All-Star break.

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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Alec Kostival graduated from La Salle University with a degree in communication with a focus in mass media and journalism. He covered high school sports for the Chestnut Hill Local.  He has interned with the Reading Fightin Phils and the Philadelphia Eagles.

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