The Phillies returned to the endless guidance this site provides for them and linked first baseman Matt Rizzotti to the 40-man roster, which was completed today with Rizzotti and four other prospects ushered into the warm embrace of the Phillies 40-man family.
“I think he’s going to open up some eyes,” Asst. GM Chuck LaMar said. Suddenly, Ruben Amaro burst through the door.
“I told you to stay out of here,” Amaro growled.
Suddenly terrified, Chuck took his feet off the GM’s desk. “I.. so sorry… I thought you weren’t getting back from Tampa until–”
Ruben slammed the door behind him. This would be the last offense.
Shortstop Freddy Galvis and second basepersons Cesar Hernandez and Harold Garcia were also brought onboard, along with pitcher Justin De Fratus, who just finished blistering the Arizona Fall League with 10 K’s, 2 BB, and one hit in five game appearances.
His slider moves, his change up makes comical braking sound effects, and his fastball can touch 95 mph. They want to breed him as Brad Lidge’s heir in the bullpen, but if that is to be his fate, he is missing one classic closer criteria: He is not brain damaged, comically overweight, impossibly unconfident, or hilariously mustachioed. Which begs the question–can a man without a punchline stroll onto the mound in the 9th inning and quirklessly lay down the law?
“He is not a flashy pitcher, just a very consistent one,” Ben Seal wrote on Phillies Nation last year.
Which was a deflating revelation for those of us with dreams of a prank-minded, microphone-grabbing closer who ran a ruffed grouse sanctuary in the off season. Or something, whatever.
That’s right, De Fratus claims he was losing it having to wait every fifth day to get the ball, and the Phillies (and I’d like to know who in the Phillies organization said this and high-five them) sat him down to tell him that thought he was “messed up in the head” enough to pitch relief, rather than start.
“They told me they think I am weird and they said that is perfect for a reliever,” De Fratus replied, not to Ben Seal, but in the Ventura County Star, almost a year later.
Which ultimately proves it: Everything in baseball is decided by how detached from reality you appear to be.