Saturday, February 10, 2024

Phils Add Pair of Castillos, Rucker; Getting Closer to Pitchers and Catchers

2023 Topps #430
2023 Topps Heritage #568
2023 Topps #251
2022 Topps Update #US19

We've started to play a little long toss at The Phillies Room, in anticipation of the imminent return to (mostly) daily posting.  As we start to get loose, hopefully we won't tweak anything, avoiding the fate of Brandon Marsh who felt something wrong with his knee and underwent surgery on Friday.  The Phillies are hoping Marsh is fine and active in time for opening day.

The Quietest Offseason continued with three more roster additions.  With the 40-man roster now at a full 40 and 15 official non-roster invitees coming to camp, there will be 55 players suiting up in Clearwater soon.  Pitchers and catcher report on Wednesday, with the first full squad work out scheduled for Monday, February 19th.  The first Grapefruit League game is less than a week after that on Saturday, February 24th against the Blue Jays in Dunedin.

Here's a quick look at the three roster moves made this past week:
  • On Monday, Diego Castillo (inf) was claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees.  Castillo played in 96 games for the Pirates in 2022, batting .206, and appeared in just one game for the Diamondbacks in 2023.  He played five positions in the field for the Pirates (ss, 2b, rf, 1b, 3b) while also pitching in two games and DH'ing in two games.  That's him as #64 on the Pirates team card from the 2023 Topps set. 
  •  On Tuesday, Michael Rucker (rhp) was acquired from the Chicago Cubs for cash considerations.  Andrew Bellati (rhp), who was out of options, was designated for assignment to make room for Rucker on the 40-man roster.  In 96 games with the Cubs over the past three seasons, all in relief, Rucker is 5-2 with a 4.96 ERA over 123 1/3 innings pitched.  As is the fate of many relievers these days, Rucker has yet to appear on any mainstream baseball cards. 
  •  A day later, Max Castillo (rhp) was claimed off waivers from the Boston Red Sox, with Simon Muzziotti (of) designated for assignment.  In 21 games with the Blue Jays and Royals in 2022 and 2023, Castillo was 0-3 with a 5.43 ERA in 59 2/3 innings pitched.  Although he's appeared in less games than Rucker, Castillo made it into the 2023 Topps set last year.

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