Tag: Michael Schwimer

Erik Kratz, Chris Getz

Phillies give up 13 runs to Royals, but it didn’t have to be this way


I should start by writing about the intentional walk that went bad in the Royals’ rout of the Phillies on Friday.  With the Phillies up 4-2 and one out in the sixth, manager Charlie Manuel decided he’d rather have lefty Jeremy Horst face Alex Gordon with the bases loaded than Kyle Kendrick or a right-handed reliever face pinch-hitter Billy Butler with runners on second and third.

That, I think, is a defensible decision. Gordon is excellent, but not so much against lefties, while Horst limited lefties to a .170 average last season.

Gordon, of course, made it look bad, delivering a triple that put the Royals on top 5-4. Kansas City just kept piling on from there, finally winning the game 13-4.

But rather than focus on Manuel’s intentional walk, I’d rather point towards Ruben Amaro’s bullpen. Because it should be noted that five of the Royals’ runs today came against a pair of 35-year-old journeymen: Chad Durbin and Raul Valdes.

The Phillies finished last season loaded with talented, but unproven, young relievers: Phillippe Aumont, Justin De Fratus, Jake Diekman, Josh Lindblom, Michael Schwimer. All were rather successful in the minors, some had shown flashes in the majors. All were 24-26 years old.

Right now, just one of those pitchers in on the major league roster: Aumont. He worked one scoreless inning in the Opening Day loss to the Braves and hasn’t been seen since. De Fratus and Diekman are in Triple-A. Lindblom was sent to Texas for Michael Young. Schwimer was given away to the Blue Jays because he threatened a grievance over how the Phillies handled an injury last year.

Instead of those intriguing younger arms, the Phillies are going with Durbin and Valdes. And it’s not because they needed the experience late in games. They’re paying through the nose for Jonathan Papelbon and Mike Adams to work the last two innings. It’s because Amaro, when it doubt, much prefers his veterans. Time will tell whether it pays off.

Phillies trade reliever Michael Schwimer to Blue Jays

Michael Schwimer Getty

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies have traded right-handed reliever Michael Schwimer to the Blue Jays for minor league first baseman Art Charles.

Schwimer, who turned 27 earlier this week, has a 4.62 ERA and 52/23 K/BB ratio over 48 2/3 innings in the big leagues. He made 35 appearances with the Phillies last season and found himself in the middle of a controversy in August when he refused to report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after claiming that he was injured. He eventually reported and the MLBPA later investigated the matter, but it’s not clear if a grievance was ever filed against the Phillies.

While Schwimer could turn out to be a useful middle reliever for the Blue Jays, Charles isn’t much of a prospect. The 22-year-old has a .239/.358/.482 batting line over three seasons in the minors and has never played above Low-A. While he has some pop, he has struck out in 30 percent of his plate appearances.

UPDATE: Michael Schwimer has not filed a grievance against the Phillies

Michael Schwimer Getty

UPDATE: Schwimer’s agent, Jeff Borris, tells Salisbury that no grievance has been filed against the Phillies. However, he did ask the MLBPA to investigate the matter. It’s still possible a grievance could be filed.

“I believed Michael could have been sent down while he was hurt so I turned the matter over to the union to investigate whether a potential grievance was there,” agent Jeff Borris said. “I haven’t heard anything since.”

Bob Lenaghan, assistant general counsel for the MLBPA, says the investigation is ongoing.

8:38 PM: Some of you may remember that there was a little bit of drama between the Phillies and right-hander Michael Schwimer earlier this summer after he claimed that he should have been placed on the disabled list with elbow soreness rather than sent to the minors. He eventually reported to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and finished the season there, but the issue isn’t completely in the rear-view mirror.

According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the MLBPA has filed a grievance against the Phillies on behalf of Schwimer. Assuming it is successful, Schwimer could potentially be compensated for what he would have earned had he been on the disabled list.

Schwimer, who turns 27 in February, posted a 4.46 ERA and 36/16 K/BB ratio over 34 1/3 innings this past season. He is healthy now and remains on the Phillies’ 40-man roster.

Phillies getting closer to acquiring Michael Young

Michael Young

If this comes together, the Phillies will possess one of the most expensive infields of all-time.

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Rangers and Phillies are in “advanced talks” about a deal that would send Michael Young and cash to the Phillies for a reliever and a prospect.

The Rangers would cover more than half of the $16 million that Young is due next year in the final season of his five-year, $80 million contract. The 36-year-old Young, who has a full no-trade clause, hit .277/.312/.370 with eight homers and 67 RBI in 611 at-bats last season. He was far better in 2011, batting .338/.380/.474 with 11 homers and 106 RBI in 631 at-bats.

In return, the Rangers would likely get “a young major league reliever,” according to Grant. The guess here is that it would be Justin De Fratus, but Josh Lindblom, Michael Schwimer and Jake Diekman would also qualify. It’s hard to imagine that big right-hander Phillippe Aumont would be involved.

Young would take over as the Phillies’ third baseman, replacing free agent Placido Polanco. The infield of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Young would make a combined $62 million next year.

Michael Schwimer ends protest against Phillies, reports to Triple-A six days later

Michael Schwimer Getty

Upset that the Phillies optioned him to the minors instead of placing him on the MLB disabled list with elbow soreness, reliever Michael Schwimer took his sweet time reporting to Triple-A and there was even speculation that he might file a grievance.

Schwimer finally reported to Lehigh Valley yesterday, six days after being optioned there.

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com writes that part of the delay came “because he traveled to California for a second medical opinion on Monday” and underwent an MRI exam.

Neither side is commenting on the situation beyond that, but for now at least Schwimer is on the Triple-A active roster.