Sean O’Sullivan Rumors

Phillies Designate Cesar Jimenez For Assignment

The Phillies announced that they’ve designated left-hander Cesar Jimenez for assignment and selected the contract of right-hander Sean O’Sullivan, who will start today’s game against the Nationals.

The 30-year-old Jimenez pitched just two-third of an inning in the early stages of the 2015 season but has been up and down with the Phillies in each of the past two seasons. Jimenez has worked to a very strong 2.67 ERA in 33 2/3 innings dating back to 2013, though his ratios of 5.3 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 and 4.27 FIP tell a less favorable story than his bottom-line results. Jimenez has been more effective against lefties than righties, but he hasn’t exactly dominated same-handed hitters; lefties have batted .238/.310/.357 against him in 143 big league plate appearances.

Jimenez was the only lefty in the bullpen behind setup man Jake Diekman, and the loss of Mario Hollands to Tommy John surgery removed another option for Philadelphia. They’ll likely hope that Jimenez can clear waivers and remain in the organization — an outcome that has already happened twice in the past calendar year.


Phillies Notes: Hamels, Giles, O’Sullivan, Roster

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports opines that it’s time for the Phillies to accept that they won’t receive Mookie Betts, Blake Swihart or a prospect of that ilk (e.g. Corey Seager, Addison Russell) in exchange for ace Cole Hamels. He feels the team should restart talks with the Red Sox and focus on the slew of near-MLB-ready talent they have beyond those top two names, including Garin Cecchini, Deven Marrero, Henry Owens, Eduardo Rodriguez and Brian Johnson. While one could certainly construct an appealing package of those prospects, I’ll respectfully disagree with Rosenthal’s assertion that the Phillies should now drop their demands on Hamels. He struggled on Opening Day, but there’s little reason to expect those woes to continue, unless the team feels that there’s a risk for injury, which would complicate trade discussions in an entirely different fashion. A summer trade of Hamels could create more suitors, and if the demand for aces outweighs the supply — as is almost always the case — it’s easy to envision a team going beyond its current comfort zone at that time. As my colleague Jeff Todd has previously pointed out, the Phillies are in far less of a “must-trade” situation with Hamels than the Rays were with David Price, for example. Philadelphia has the resources to wait and see, unlike smaller-market teams that are forced to make a deal for fear of injury or rapid decline.

Here are some more notes on the Phillies…

  • Setup man Ken Giles was flat out dominant as a rookie in 2014, but he was plagued by back tightness in spring and struggled in his debut, showing diminished velocity. Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Inquirer spoke to skipper Ryne Sandberg about the issue, and Sandberg said that Giles feels the lost velocity was due to a mechanical issue and not to anything physical. As Kaplan points out, Giles’ velocity topped out at 96.6 mph in his shaky debut — a far cry from his 101 mph peak and 98 mph average fastball from last season. Kaplan adds that Giles’ erratic command may be a bigger issue, as the presumed closer-in-waiting struggled with walks in the Minors but seemed to eliminate the problem in last year’s four-month big league debut.
  • Kaplan also notes that right-hander Sean O’Sullivan has been tabbed as Sunday’s starter for the Phils, but he’s not on the 40-man roster, so a 40-man move is forthcoming. Both Cliff Lee and Mario Hollands are already on the 60-day disabled list, so transferring either of them is not an option. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com wrote last night that O’Sullivan is essentially a placeholder until righty Chad Billingsley‘s pitch count is built up to around 100. Billingsley will throw 50 or so pitches tonight, per Salisbury, and could be ready for the big league rotation late this month or early in May. Billingsley spoke optimistically about his health and recovery from two elbow surgeries when asked by Salisbury.
  • The Phillies’ current roster serves as a case study in the dangers of committing to a core for too long, writes Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. Britton looks not only at the club’s decision to extend Ryan Howard too long but also the expensive forays into aging free agents and the trade of young players such as Michael Bourn, Carlos Carrasco and Travis d’Arnaud. Britton acknowledges that few of the prospects traded by Philadelphia have panned out, but the exodus of young players has left the Phillies with few viable replacement options, which may have played a role in their decision to extend veterans like Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley rather than trade them. (Then again, the Phils did nab a pair of solid pitching prospects for Rollins in the end, which has to be counted as a point in their favor.)

Minor Moves: O’Sullivan, Jackson, Paterson, Wilson, Bianchi

As outrights pick up pace across the league, here are the latest minor moves:

  • After outrighting him yesterday, the Phillies have released righty Sean O’Sullivan, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. O’Sullivan was set to become a minor league free agent anyway, so this just moves up his appearance on the open market.
  • After seeing three players fail to clear waivers today, the Diamondbacks did manage to get another trio through. Per the PCL transactions page, outfielder Brett Jackson, lefty Joe Paterson, and catcher Bobby Wilson have all cleared and been outrighted to Triple-A. Jackson, a 26-year-old former top prospect, had another disappointing season at Triple-A, posting a .208/.299/.350 line in 271 plate appearances. Paterson, 28, again posted solid numbers in Triple-A (2.95 ERA over 42 2/3 frames) but failed to return to the regular MLB pen role that he had in 2011. And Wilson, 31, saw his first MLB action since 2012 with the Angels, but spent most of his time putting together a .267/.324/.341 slash over 299 trips to the plate at Triple-A.
  • Also clearing waivers and being outrighted was Jeff Bianchi of the Brewers. Bianchi, who turned 28 on Sunday, struggled in limited MLB action this year. The utility infielder owns a lifetime .534 OPS through 402 plate appearances in the bigs. Over three seasons at Triple-A, he has posted a more attractive .299/.349/.428 line.


Minor Moves: Corey Hart, Sean O’Sullivan

With teams in preparation for the upcoming offseason, there will be numerous minor outrights over the coming weeks. We’ll run down today’s outrights and other minor moves in this post…

  • After being designated for assignment late in the year by the Mariners, first baseman/DH Corey Hart has elected free agency after clearing outright waivers, MLB.com’s Greg Johns tweets. Though it may or may not have any practical import, Hart will be eligible to sign a new deal now, rather than waiting until until after the World Series for the official onset of free agency.
  • The Phillies announced that they have outrighted Sean O’Sullivan off the 40-man roster. The right-hander will be eligible to become a minor league free agent. O’Sullivan made three appearances (two starts) for the Phils this season, yielding nine runs on 15 hits and a pair of walks with seven strikeouts in 12 2/3 total innings. In parts of five big league seasons, the 27-year-old O’Sullivan has a 5.91 ERA in 231 1/3 innings with 4.3 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 40 percent ground-ball rate.

Minor Moves: Almonte, Patton, Martinez, Clemens

Here are today’s minor moves from around baseball, with the newest transactions at the top of the page…

  • The Yankees have outrighted outfielder Zoilo Almonte, according to the International League transactions page. Almonte, 25, has collected just 36 plate appearances in the big leagues this season, spending most of the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he’s hit .261/.311/.437 in 454 plate appearances. The Yankees designated him for assignment earlier this week.
  • The Padres outrighted left-hander Troy Patton to Triple-A El Paso, the team reports.  Patton was designated for assignment on Tuesday.  He posted a 5.14 ERA in 14 combined innings with the Orioles and Padres this season, but since coming to San Diego in May in exchange for Todd Hundley, Patton has a 2.45 ERA, eight strikeouts and just one walk over 7 1/3 relief innings.
  • The Astros outrighted right-handers Paul Clemens and David Martinez off their 40-man roster, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports (Twitter link).  The two were designated for assignment on Tuesday.  Clemens has a 5.84 ERA in 24 2/3 relief innings for Houston this season, while Martinez allowed four in seven innings of work for the Astros.
  • The Phillies have purchased the contract of right-hander Sean O’Sullivan, the team announced.  Lefty Mario Hollands was moved to the 60-day DL in a corresponding roster move.  O’Sullivan signed a minor league deal with Philadelphia last winter and has twice been outrighted off the club’s roster this season, while posting a 6.94 ERA over 11 2/3 IP in two starts with the Phillies.

Minor Moves: Hill, O’Sullivan, Sale, Daley, Gimenez, Thomas

Here are today’s minor moves …

  • The Tigers inked right-hander Shawn Hill to a minor league deal today, as James Wagner of the Toledo Blade reports on Twitter. Hill, 33, has seen mostly scattered MLB action since taking 28 starts for the Nationals over the 2007-08 seasons. He has a 4.87 ERA through 105 1/3 innings (4.7 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9) in the upper minors this year with the White Sox and Blue Jays organizations.
  • The Phillies have outrighted Sean O’Sullivan to Triple-A, according to the International League transactions page. The righty accepted a previous outright assignment earlier this year, but will once again have the right to elect free agency instead.
  • Rays prospect Josh Sale has been hit with a 50-game suspension for recreational drug use, MLB announced today. This is hardly the first brush with trouble for the 23-year-old former first-round pick, who came into the 2013 season rated Tampa’s 24th-best prospect by Baseball America. After a previous drug-related suspension, Sale missed all of last year when the team banned him for inappropriate conduct. He had slashed .238/.313/.344 over 361 plate appearances on the year at the High-A level.
  • After reporting earlier today that Matt Daley has accepted an outright assignment from the Yankees, MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo tweets that Daley has actually been optioned by the club. The righty still occupies a 40-man spot.
  • Catcher Chris Gimenez has accepted an outright assignment from the Rangers rather than electing free agency, tweets John Blake, the club’s executive VP of communications. The 31-year-old was designated for assignment five days ago, and apparently has not found a better opportunity with another organization.
  • The Phillies have released outfielder Clete Thomas, Cotillo tweets. The 30-year-old has seen 794 MLB plate appearances in parts of four seasons, but had not been elevated by Philadelphia this season. Over 226 minor league plate appearances, he carries a .247/.345/.335 slash.

Earlier Updates

Baseball America’s Matt Eddy has posted his weekly look at minor league transactions from around the league from the past seven days. We’ll highlight a couple of the (relatively) notable names that were missed in the past week:

  • Eddy reports that the Cardinals have released southpaw Pedro Feliciano from his minor league deal. The 37-year-old, once an excellent setup man with the Mets, pitched to a 5.57 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 21 frames with Triple-A Memphis this season.
  • The Reds have released left-hander Scott Maine, Eddy reports. The former Cub was inked to a minor league deal in June after pitching well for the independent Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish, but he posted a 6.10 ERA in 10 1/3 innings with the Reds organization.
  • The Athletics have released first baseman/third baseman B.A. Vollmuth, tweets Eddy. Vollmuth, a third-rounder as recently as 2011, batted just .207/.278/.341 this season at Class A Beloit. The 24-year-old has yet to move above the Class-A Advanced level and a has a .702 OPS in his pro career.

Phillies Claim Jerome Williams, Designate Sean O’Sullivan

The Phillies announced that they have claimed right-hander Jerome Williams off waivers from the Rangers and designated fellow right-hander Sean O’Sullivan for assignment. Williams, who will be joining his third organization in a span of six weeks, is expected to replace O’Sullivan in the rotation and make his Phillies debut Tuesday, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Gelb. The Rangers will receive $20K from the waiver claim, tweets Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News.

Williams was designated for assignment Friday by the Rangers after making a pair of starts. The 32-year-old was outstanding in his Texas debut allowing just one run and no walks over six innings against the best team in the American League, the A’s, but he was shelled by the Indians in his next start (10 runs, 13 hits, and three walks in four innings). After pitching to a 4.46 ERA in 351 innings for the Angels from 2011-13, Williams has struggled to a line of 6.71 ERA, 6.9 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, and 12.0 H/9 in 28 appearances (two starts) for the Rangers and Astros covering 57 2/3 innings.

This is the second time the Phillies have designated O’Sullivan for assignment this season. Before that DFA, the 26-year-old made one start in the nightcap of a doubleheader against the Braves allowing four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. O’Sullivan regained a 25-man roster spot when the Phillies traded Roberto Hernandez and, in the lone start of his second tour of duty Thursday, surrendered three home runs to the Astros over six innings.

Edward Creech contributed to this post.


Minor Moves: Keys, Escalona, Coello, O’Sullivan

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…

  • The Marlins have outrighted center fielder Brent Keys to Triple-A Jacksonville, according to the club’s transactions page. Miami designated Keys for assignment over the weekend when they acquired lefty Donnie Joseph from the Royals.
  • The Yankees have signed right-hander Edgmer Escalona to a minor league deal, according to the club’s transactions page. The hard-throwing 27-year-old rejected an outright assignment from the division-rival Orioles and elected free agency a couple weeks back. Curiously, the Orioles transitioned Escalona to their Triple-A rotation, where he made the first three starts of his professional career. He didn’t fare particularly well, posting a 6.10 ERA in 20 2/3 innings. He has some MLB experience with the Rockies and averaged 94.2 mph on his heater from 2012-13.
  • Escalona will take the roster spot of righty Robert Coello at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, after Coello opted out of his minor league deal, the team has officially announced (hat tip: Donnie Collins of the Scranton Tribune-Times on Twitter). Coello posted a pristine 1.69 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 32 innings, but he also walked a troubling 21 batters in that time.
  • Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports (via Twitter) that right-hander Sean O’Sullivan has accepted his outright assignment with the Phillies. O’Sullivan was outrighted yesterday after being designated for assignment last week and had the option to elect free agency.

Minor Moves: Cleto, Pineiro, Janish, Resop, Peterson, Boggs, Rodriguez, O’Sullivan

Here are today’s outright assignments and minor moves from around the league…

  • UPDATE: Maikel Cleto has not, in fact, been released by the White Sox, according to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin (via Twitter). The International League transactions page indicates that the righty has been released, apparently erroneously. Cleto, 25, has seen his most extended MLB time this year after enjoying cups of coffee in each of the last three seasons. But he has not taken advantage, and owns a 5.14 ERA through 14 frames with an ugly 6.4 K/9 against 9.6 BB/9. Cleto’s 20 2/3 innings in Triple-A have not been much better, as he has worked to a 6.53 mark, though he has managed 12.2 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9.
  • Righty Joel Pineiro, recently released by the Angels, has been hit with a 50-game PED suspension, reports MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez (via Twitter). The prohibited substance at issue was heptaminol, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (tweet in Spanish). The 35-year-old, who had been attempting a comeback, owns a 5.93 ERA through 44 innings in the upper minors on the year.
  • Shortstop Paul Janish has been released by the Rockies, according to the PCL transactions page. Janish opted out of his minor league pact, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (via Twitter). The 31-year-old has spent the entire year at Triple-A, putting up a .234/.284/.301 slash in 226 plate appearances.
  • Righty Chris Resop has opted out of his contract with the Red Sox, tweets Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. The 31-year-old owns a 4.42 ERA through 38 2/3 frames at Triple-A. He has made MLB appearances in eight of the last nine seasons.
  • The Dodgers have acquired first baseman Brock Peterson from the Nationals in exchange for cash considerations, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Peterson, 30, owns a .250/.332/.367 line through 301 plate appearances at Triple-A this year. He has, however, shown much more power in recent seasons in the high minors with the Cardinals.
  • The White Sox have released righty Mitchell Boggs from Triple-A, reports Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com (via Twitter). The move will clear space for the addition of fellow reliever Henry Rodriguez, who signed a minor league deal recently, as Scott Merkin of MLB.com reported on Twitter. Boggs struggled to a 9.50 ERA in 36 innings with the Sox’ top affiliate this year, while Rodriguez was utterly unable to throw strikes consistently during his tenure with the Marlins.
  • The Phillies announced that right-hander Sean O’Sullivan has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 26-year-old allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings in his lone start of the year with the Phillies and has a career 5.90 ERA with 4.3 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 224 1/3 innings of work. O’Sullivan has been outrighted in the past and has the option to reject the outright assignment in favor of free agency.

Phillies Designate Sean O’Sullivan For Assignment

The Phillies have announced that they’ve designated pitcher Sean O’Sullivan for assignment. The move clears space for infielder Andres Blanco, whose contract the Phillies purchased from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

The Phillies added O’Sullivan to their roster yesterday so that he could start the second game of a doubleheader yesterday against the Braves. He allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings, striking out three and walking none. The Phillies made space for him yesterday by outrighting infielder Ronny Cedeno, so it makes sense that they would replace O’Sullivan on their active roster with an infielder. The veteran Blanco has appeared in parts of six seasons with the Royals, Cubs and Rangers, hitting .255/.301/.333. He last appeared in the big leagues in 2011.