Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. confirmed this afternoon that left-hander Cole Hamels could be activated as soon as April 22, but they should get some other players back from the disabled list even sooner.
Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that utility infielder Freddy Galvis could join the team as soon as tomorrow. Meanwhile, reliever Mike Adams could be activated Monday.
Galvis suffered a cut on his left knee in March and eventually had an abscess removed, during which an infection was detected. It turned out to be Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is resistant to many antibiotics. Fortunately, the 24-year-old has made steady progress since then, recently appearing in a pair of rehab games with High-A Clearwater.
Adams is making his way back from shoulder and sports hernia surgeries. The 35-year-old has struck out five batters in 2 1/3 innings over three rehab appearances with High-A Clearwater and will help set up for Jonathan Papelbon when he’s ready to return. He’s making $7 million this year.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.
Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.
Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.