The Philadelphia Phillies announced they have selected the contract of reliever Chris Devenski. In corresponding moves, left-hander Brad Hand was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to September 22nd, and infielder Johan Camargo was designated for assignment.
The 31-year-old Devenski re-signed with Arizona Diamondbacks on a Minor League contract before the 2022 season, but began the season on the injured list, first on the 7-day injured list and then 60-day injured list, as he worked his way back from Tommy John surgery undergone in June 2021. Devenski would make his 2022 debut in late July, remaining on the Diamondbacks for a month and pitching to a 7.59 ERA in 10 2/3 innings with a low 18.8 K% and minuscule 2.1 BB% before being DFA’d and released. It’s a far cry from the once dominant performance Devenski produced in the early years of his career with the Astros. Nicknamed “The Dragon,” Devenski posted a 3.21 ERA in 305 1/3 innings and appeared in 221 games from 2016-2019 with an above-average 26.9 K% and strong 6.6 BB%, earning an All-Star berth in the process. However, since 2019 Devenski has posted a 9.14 ERA in 21 2/3 innings, undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow in 2020 and spraining his right UCL in 2021, forcing him to undergo Tommy John surgery.
Devenski signed a Minor League contract with the Phillies shortly after his release from the Diamondbacks and pitched to a 1.04 ERA in 8 2/3 innings in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, with a high 33.3 K% and average 9.1 BB%. He joins a Phillies bullpen with the 9th highest collective ERA as another righty for interim-manager Rob Thomson to call upon.
Hand, an important part of the Phillies bullpen, was placed on the 15-day injured list with left elbow tendinitis. It is a tough break for both Hand and the Phillies, as the team currently holds the third and final NL Wild Card spot, 1.5 games ahead of the Brewers and 1/2 game behind the Padres. With the placement on the 15-day IL, Hand will unable to return until October 7th, and will miss the remainder of the regular season. He can, however theoretically return for the playoffs. Hand has posted a strong 2.80 ERA in 45 innings (55 appearances) this season after signing a one-year contract with the Phillies in the offseason. This strong performance, if continued, would likely have led to a multi-year contract in the offseason. However, teams may be warier now with the elbow tendonitis possibly being a precursor to a more serious injury.
As for Camargo, his time on the Phillies’ 40-man roster has come to a close. Signed to a one-year deal in the offseason, Camargo posted a respectable .269/.321/.365/.687 slash line in April before declining to .237/.297/.316/.613 as the season progressed. Camargo dealt with a right knee strain and was placed on the 10-day injured list twice in June before being optioned at the end of July with the return of Jean Segura. He has not fared much better in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, slashing .213/.311/.298/.609 for the season.
As a player with more than three years of MLB service, Camargo has the right to refuse the outright assignment in favor of free agency. Even if Camargo accepts this outright assignment, he’d qualify for minor league free agency at the end of the season unless the Phillies add him back to the 40-man roster.