The Phillies have designated southpaw James Russell for assignment, as Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com first reported on Twitter. Philadelphia has also announced that it has selected the contract of righty Andrew Bailey to replace him.
Both Russell and Bailey were brought in on minor league deals over the winter. The former was earning at a $1.5MM rate. It’s not known how much Bailey stands to make at the major league level, but the move will render his May 1 opt-out opportunity moot.
Russell, 30, was off to a rough start to the year. In 4 1/3 innings over seven appearances, he had allowed nine earned runs on nine hits and five free passes (to go with four strikeouts). On the positive side, Russell’s swinging strike rate is up to a career-best 13.8% — though that comes in quite a limited sample and without the results to match.
As for the Bailey, the promotion gives him yet another shot at reinvigorating his career. The 31-year-old has been rather dominant at Triple-A in the early going, registering ten strikeouts against a pair of walks while permitting one earned run in his five innings. He struggled with control last year in a brief stint with the Yankees, though, and hasn’t been healthy and effective over a full major league season since way back in 2011.