Phillies Add Reliever, Designate Stassi, Disable Eickhoff
The Phillies have been desperate for reliable relief pitching since the departure of reliever Pat Neshak, and, to a lesser extent reliever Joaquin Benoit. As is custom for the month of August, players are placed on revoke-able waivers. Unclaimed players may be traded; players that are claimed could be traded to the team awarded the claim, or, simply allowed to become property of the claiming team.
The Phillies claimed reliever Juan Nicasio from the PIttsburgh Pirates. The Pirates, apparently looking to shed some salary, decided to save about $638,000 and granted the Phillies Nicasio's services. Nicasio will join the Phillies in Miami and help offer some stability to the Phillies pitching staff that could use some reliable relief help.
Nicasio did a decent job for Pittsburgh in 2017. In fact, Nicasio pitched well enough that he got consideration for the closer's role in Pittsburgh, after Tony Watson struggled. In a league-leading 65 appearances, Nicasio is 2-5 with a 2.85 earned run average. Nicasio did not fill the closer's role but earned two saves.
The addition of Nicasio meant the Phillies had to find a space on their 40-man roster. The casualty was first baseman Brock Stassi. Stassi earned a spot on the Phillies out of Spring Training as a left-handed bench bat. Stassi batted just .167 for the Phillies in two big league stints.
Also on Thursday, the Phillies placed starter Jerad Eickhoff on the 10-day disabled list with nerve irritation in his right hand. Ricardo Pinto, who was the 26th man in Wednesday's double-header, stayed with the Phillies to take Eickhoff's roster spot. Pinto probably will remain since rosters will expand tomorrow.
While rosters expand on Friday, the Phillies may wait to add more players until after Monday, when Triple-A Lehigh Valley concludes their season. At that point, 40-man roster players such as Drew Anderson, Cameron Perkins, and Jake Thompson could join the Phillies. To add others, the Phillies must create roster space. However, the Phillies will need another starter come Sunday.