Hank Conger cut from his winter ball team

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A couple of years ago Angels’ third baseman Brandon Wood was cut by his winter ball team for poor performance. On the one hand, it’s a small sample size and winter ball teams are trying to win, not develop U.S. talent. On the other hand, hey, they sure saw through Brandon Wood, didn’t they?  Oh well, I’m sure things will turn out totally different for this Angels’ prospect:

Hank Conger, in a terrible slump, was removed last week from his Venezuelan team’s roster . . . Conger wasn’t hitting at all, but it was only 36 at bats, so probably nothing but a tough two weeks from the catching prospect.

Say Hank, have you ever been to Australia?

Former number one pick Mark Appel DFA’d by the Phillies

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Life comes at you fast.

The Phillies have designated pitcher Mark Appel for assignment. Appel was the number one overall pick, taken by the Houston Astros, in the 2013 draft before being dealt to the Phillies in 2015. He was selected one slot ahead of Kris Bryant and 31 slots above Aaron Judge, by the way.

Appel, who is somehow already 26, posted a 5.27 ERA and 60/53 K/BB ratio over 82 Triple-A innings in 2017. He’s had a history of bone spurs and other ailments that have hindered his development.

It could still come together for Appel in a new location — the Phillies have seven days to trade or waive him — but at this point you can’t consider him a prospect.