The Phillies announced Tuesday that they have acquired a reliever Michael Rocker Of cubs for money. He was designated for assignment by Chicago last week. In order to open up a spot on the 40-man roster, the Phillies drafted a fellow right-hander Andrew Pilati For the mission.
Rucker, who turns 30 in April, is changing organizations for the first time. The BYU product has been a member of the Cubs since they selected him in the 11th round of the 2016 draft. After a few seasons as a starter in the minors, he transitioned to relief by the 2019 campaign. High hitting numbers in the upper minors in 2019 and 21 major league appearances earned him midseason 2021.
The right-hander has reached the MLB level in each of the past three years. He allowed just under five earned runs per nine over 123 1/3 big league innings. Rocker allowed a nearly 7.00 ERA as a rookie before posting a decent 3.95 mark across a personal-high 54 1/3 frames in 2022. Things once again veered in the wrong direction last year, as he was graded at 4.91 over 40 1/3. Roles.
That led to the Cubs taking him off the roster when they signed the veteran reliever (and former Philly). Hector Neres For a one year deal. Rucker's arm strength and reasonable perimeter numbers led Philadelphia to take a low-cost look. Rocker has struck out between 21% and 24% of opponents in each of his MLB seasons. He produced ground balls at a personal high rate of 51.8% a year ago, though he also walked nearly 11% of batters. Rucker's fastball averages just under 95 mph and he showed some swing-and-miss upside with both his slider and cutter last season.
Rucker also has a minor league option remaining, so the Phils can keep him in Triple-A Lehigh Valley for another season. That doesn't apply to Pilati, who he will replace on the 40-man roster. Pilati looked like an excellent find for Philadelphia under a minor league contract heading into 2022, when he pitched to a 3.31 ERA over 54 1/3 innings. He didn't find the same level of success last year, hitting a 5.11 mark over 24 2/3 big league frames.
The 32-year-old Pilati had solid results while in Triple-A a year ago. He pitched to a 2.42 ERA with an above-average strikeout percentage of 25.7% in 27 games with Lehigh Valley. The Phillies have a week to trade him or place him on waivers. Pilati has been fired multiple times in his career, so he will have the potential to elect free agency if no one claims him in the coming days.
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