The Phillies have signed Aaron Cook to a minor league deal, reports Jon Paul Morosi. If he makes the bigs he’ll make $1.625 million.
Not a bad gamble at that price. Though I’m skeptical that he’ll be particularly useful. He has become a near-historically bad pitcher in terms of strikeout rate. Which he somehow, quite amusingly actually, got away with for a little while last season with the Red Sox.
But only for a little while. By the time the year was over he had an ERA of 5.65, and striking out fewer than two batters per nine innings had an awful lot to do with that. He hasn’t had an ERA below 5.00 since 2009.
But he’s an arm, can induce some ground balls when he’s on and there’s no harm having him around if the commitment, like this one, is small.
Looking to add depth to a bullpen that’s been hit hard by injuries this season, the Phillies signed Aaron Heilman to a minor league contract on Thursday, CSNPhilly’s Jim Salisbury reports. He’ll step into a Triple-A Lehigh Valley relief corps that just lost Jason Grilli to the Pirates.
Heilman was cut by the Diamondbacks after amassing a 6.81 ERA in 35 1/3 innings this season. The stats, however, say he wasn’t nearly that bad. He had 33 strikeouts versus just 11 walks, but he was doomed by giving up eight homers, which is twice as many as one would have expected based on his career rate.
Heilman’s velocity is down a bit this year, but he’s continued to get plenty of swings and misses. He’s still a decent enough bet as a sixth- and seventh-inning guy, and the Phillies might want to go ahead and release Danys Baez to make room for him after he gets a few innings under his belt.
Phillies outfielder Aaron Altherr, currently on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, isn’t expected back until September, MLB.com’s Ben Harris reports. The Phillies just called up 1B/OF Rhys Hoskins from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, which will help in the meantime.
Altherr, 26, has hit .285/.357/.536 with 16 home runs and 49 RBI in 336 plate appearances this season. He’s been one of the few bright spots on the Phillies thus far — he leads the team in adjusted OPS among hitters to have taken at least 100 trips to the plate.
Hoskins had played first base exclusively throughout his professional career, but moved into the outfield earlier this week and passed muster, warranting a promotion to the majors. He hit 29 home runs and drove in 91 runs at Triple-A this year.