Phillies Release Six, Option Three in Latest Rounds of Cuts
The Phillies made a couple moves after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 13-6 on Thursday. According to the Phillies, pitchers Jeremy Bleich and Edward Paredes, catcher Drew Butera and utility infielders Andrew Romine, Trevor Plouffe and Gregorio Petit have been released. Outfielder Dylan Cozens and pitchers James Pazos and Drew Anderson have been optioned to the minor leagues.
Cozens and Anderson had respectable camps this season and will be candidates to return to the major leagues should there be any injuries or other openings. Cozens showed his power this spring with two doubles and four home runs. Anderson went 2-0 with a 0.71 earned run average in 12 2/3 innings over four appearances.
Butera entered camp with a real opportunity to serve as the backup to newly-acquired catcher J.T. Realmuto. Butera is best known for his time with the Kansas City Royals. Butera served as back-up to All-Star Salvador Perez during the 2014 World Championship season for the Royals. Butera batted .214 for the Phillies this Spring.
The move means that the Phillies will use Andrew Knapp as the club's back-up catcher. Rob Brantly remains in camp and could be used as depth at Triple-A, along with Matt McBride, who frequently plays first base and serves in a variety of roles. McBride is slated to return to minor league camp after staying with the club a few more days.
Romine, Plouffe, and Petit appear to have been outpaced by the likes of veterans Sean Rodriguez and Phil Gosselin. Rodriguez remains in camp, but Gosselin will report to minor league camp on Tuesday, likely to serve as organizational depth at Triple-A. Shane Robinson, Gift Ngoepe and Lane Adams will also head to minor league camp on Tuesday.
The Phillies roster on Opening Day will have few surprises, but the Phillies need to set their final bench and bullpen. What happens to starter Jerad Eickhoff remains to be seen; Eickhoff pitches tonight in Tampa. An injury to Tommy Hunter could open up space in the Phillies bullpen, or the Phillies could option Eickhoff to Triple-A.
That injury could also open up a temporary spot for Rodriguez or Gosselin in the days before the Phillies need a fifth starter and a starter will be available in the bullpen. Both players, however, cannot be optioned to the minor leagues.