The Phillies announced this afternoon they agreed to minor league contracts with right-handers Kevin Slowey and Sean O’Sullivan and first baseman Chris McGuiness. All three players received invites to major league spring training.
Slowey posted a 5.30 ERA and 24/9 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings over two starts and 15 relief appearances with the Marlins this past season before being released in June. The 30-year-old could compete for a long relief or swingman role in the spring.
O’Sullivan is back after spending the 2014 season with the Phillies. The 27-year-old made three appearances with the big club and posted a 4.30 ERA over 25 starts in Triple-A. He owns a 5.91 ERA over 39 starts and 14 relief appearances in the majors.
McGuiness appeared in 10 games with the Rangers in 2013, but he spent this past season with the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate while batting .264/.358/.412 with nine home runs and 54 RBI over 126 games. He turns 27 in April.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.