The Phillies announced that they have claimed two relievers off waivers from the Giants. Right-hander Luis Ortiz and left-hander Andrew Vasquez will jump to Philadelphia. Meanwhile, the Phillies also outrighted five players: right-handers Mark Appel and Hans Crouse, lefties Kent Emanuel and Damon Jones, along with infielder Yairo Munoz.
Ortiz, 27, spent a few years with the Orioles but signed a minor league deal with the Giants for 2022. A highly-touted prospect from his time with the O’s, he’s dealt with some injuries and been pushed from starting to relieving as time has gone on. He spent most of 2022 in Triple-A, throwing 67 1/3 innings with a 4.54 ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. His peripherals were quite strong, as he struck out 25.4% of batters faced, walking just 4.6% of them and getting grounders on 42.4% of balls in play. He also got 8 2/3 innings of MLB action, with a 1.04 ERA in that small sample. He still has options remaining, meaning the Phillies will have the ability to keep him in the minors as a depth arm.
Vasquez set a career high with 10 MLB games this year, splitting that time between the Blue Jays and Giants. He allowed six runs in 8 2/3 innings but he posted a 2.23 ERA over 32 1/3 Triple-A innings. The southpaw struck out almost 35% of opponents at the minors’ highest level, making him of appeal to a number of teams on the waiver wire.
Appel made his big league debut almost a decade after being selected first overall in the 2013 draft. He worked 10 1/3 innings over six relief appearances but ended the year on the injured list with elbow inflammation. Crouse was a former highly-regarded pitching prospect who came over from the Rangers in the Kyle Gibson/Spencer Howard trade. He debuted with two appearances last year but only pitched five times in Triple-A in 2022.
Jones is a former 18th-rounder who has five appearances in the last two years. Emanuel joined the organization off waivers from the Astros last winter but never pitched with Philadelphia. Munoz played in 29 games this year, hitting .221/.250/.404.
Munoz, Emanuel and Appel can become minor league free agents. Crouse and Jones will remain in the system without occupying a 40-man roster spot.
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