Phillies Add Only Ruf, Murray, Schuster, and Blanco
Earlier this week on 97.3 ESPN, we discussed some potential September call-ups. The full 40-man roster is now eligible to be active in baseball as of yesterday. The Phillies announced that they added just four players:first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf, infielder Andres Blanco, right-handed reliever Colton Murray, and left-handed reliever Patrick Schuster..
The primary reason for such a limited offering at this point is that both Triple-A Lehigh Valley and Double-A Reading are playoff-bound. Both rosters may have players that can make an appearance at the Major League level at some point after they have completed their respective seasons. The Phillies could add players on the 40-man roster such as Jorge Alfaro, Roman Quinn, and some of the relievers who have previously appeared in the Major Leagues such as Elvis Araujo and Luis Garcia.
Murray and Schuster will get right to work helping a tired Phillies pitching staff. As the Phillies limit the innings of Vince Velasquez, Jake Thompson, and Jerad Eickhoff, they will need help. The Phillies could not add more arms now or else they would risk not having enough players through the playoffs at Double-A and Triple-A.
Alec Asher will be activated from his suspension shortly, meaning that one Phillies player will lose his 40-man roster spot. Manny Burriss could be the casualty with the addition of Blanco. Ruf, meanwhile, probably does not get a good amount of playing time down the stretch. With Tommy Joseph getting right-handed at bats at first base, Ruf may be limited to being a pinch hitter, particularly if the Phillies add Nick Williams to the outfield.
Cody Asche was a notable omission to the Phillies roster. Since being demoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Asche has played just okay, though in his last games Asche is batting .297. Including his rehab assignment, Asche is batting just .239 for the IronPigs. While there was talk of increasing his versatility at other positions, Asche has only played left field for the IronPigs.
The 40-man roster remains full. After subtracting a player to add Asher back into the fold, the Phillies will have to make other moves if they wish to add Williams, J.P. Crawford, Andrew Knapp, or others to the fold. The Phillies may wait until Spring Training to view them.