The Phillies’ pitching staff needs to add more depth to the organization and they’ve added two arms from the Tampa organization.

Philadelphia has claimed left-handed pitcher Josh Fleming off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays today, the team announced Monday afternoon.

Fleming, 27, was a fifth-round MLB Draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2017 and has appeared in 55 games for the Rays over the past four seasons. 22 of those appearances were starts. The Bridgeton, Mo., native has a career 4.88 ERA in the big leagues, with 69 walks and 144 strikeouts in 223.1 innings pitched. \

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The lefty made 12 appearances (3 starts) for Tampa Bay in 2023 and went 2-0 with a 4.70 ERA (27 ER, 51.2 IP), 19 walks and 25 strikeouts. Left-handers hit just .191 against him this season.

The Phillies weren't done dealing with Tampa, they also made a trade, adding right-handed pitcher Michael Mercado in exchange for right-handed pitcher Adam Leverett and cash considerations.

The Phillies selected Mercado's contract to the Major League roster.

The 24-year-old split last season between double-A Montgomery and triple-A Durham.  In 52 combined games (two starts), he had 95 strikeouts in 62.0 innings pitched (13.8 SO/9.0 IP) with 35 walks and a 4.79 ERA (33 ER).

No qualifying offer to Rhys Hoskins

The Phillies did not extend the first baseman the qualifying offer of one year and $20.325 million.

It will be interesting to see what kind of interest Hoskins generates in a thin free-agent class, after missing the entire 2023 season after undergoing surgery in March to repair a torn ACL in his left knee.

He slashed .246/.332/.462 with 30 home runs and 79 RBI over a massive 672 plate appearances for the Phillies in 2022.

This doesn't rule out a return to the team, but much of that depends on what Bryce Harper's future looks like.  Will Harper remain at first base, or will he move back to the outfield?

If Harper remains at first, Hoskin's days in Philly are likely over.  If Harper decides he wants to go back to play the outfield, the team could bring Hoskins back to play first base.

Top Ten Philly Athletes Age 25 or Younger

Philadelphia has some great young athletes right now, from NFL MVP Runner-up Jalen Hurts to NL Gold Glove Award Finalist Bryson Stott to 30 Points Per Game Scorer Tyrese Maxey.  In honor of the Philly Sports teams Youth Movement, here are my rankings of the top ten Philadelphia Professional Athletes who are 25 years old or younger:

Gallery Credit: Josh Hennig/Townsquare Media






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