Phillies Designate Oberholtzer, Release Bailey
With Phillies prospect Jake Thompson making his Major League debut on Saturday night, the Phillies had to make a move. While one might have thought they would move the likes of Severino Gonzalez or Luis Garcia to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, since both have options to the minor leagues, the Phillies went in a different, somewhat surprising direction. To make room for Thompson, the Phillies designated for assignment the contract of left-handed reliever Brett Oberholtzer.
The move is somewhat surprising, as it leaves the Phillies bullpen without a left-handed arm (the rotation has none either). The Phillies had Oberholtzer under control through 2021, and he was not even eligible for arbitration in 2017. Serving the Phillies primarily as a mop-up reliever, the Phillies must have felt that up and coming roster spots would be more worthy down the line and the team decided to make the move now. As we pointed out yesterday, there are roster spaces needed on the 40-man roster if the Phillies wish to give call-ups to the likes of Nick Williams, Andrew Knapp, and J.P. Crawford.
The Phillies could outright Oberholtzer to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, should he clear waivers. However, there are other teams in baseball that are desperate for arms to fill innings, and Oberholtzer may very well be claimed. Reader Fr. Ed Casey points out that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are looking to dump Tim Lincecum and Oberholtzer could be someone who could fill innings for now. For the Phillies, Oberholtzer went 2-2 with a 4.83 earned run average while earning one save.
The Phillies also announced that Andrew Bailey has been given his release. Bailey was designated for assignment by the Phillies earlier this week. In 33 games for the Phillies, Bailey went 3-1 with a 6.30 earned run average.