With left-handed reliever Jeremy Horst coming back from paternity leave before Thursday night’s final game against the Reds, the Phillies had to make a roster move.
The move they made was to demote right-handed reliever Michael Schwimer to Triple A LeHigh Valley while keeping Phillippe Aumount on the roster.
And Michael Schwimer is pretty miffed about it.
According to two sources of CSNPhilly’s Jim Salisbury, Schwimer did not take the demotion well, and says he told club officials before the roster move that his arm was hurting. Schwimer says he should have been placed on the disabled list rather than demoted.
If a player has an injury, a Major League team cannot demote him from the big league roster. It must put him on the DL and continue to pay him at his Major League salary, and that player also accrues service time.
Now, the big question is whether or not Schwimer is really “injured” or if he’s simply a little sore. Only Schwimer and an MRI machine would be able to tell the difference. But Salisbury’s sources say that the right-hander is making some noise about the situation and is going to get a second opinion on his arm.
My guess is the second opinion will agree. It is an arm.
Salisbury notes that these types of situations between a player and the club are not unusual, and that usually a grievance is filed, followed by a game of human chess in which the player and owner command a group of human chess pieces, much like in times of yore.
Schwimer has had an up-and-down first full year in the big leagues, with a 4.46 ERA in 35 games. He’s given up 30 hits in 34 1/3 innings and has struck more than a hitter an inning while walking 18. He’s had outings where his stuff was electric, and others where he has struggled to find himself.
His last appearance was Sunday in Milwaukee, where he loaded the bases then got himself out of it by striking out two Brewers.
The Phillies had no comment on Schwimer’s demotion before Thursday night’s game.
Schwimer is one of the relievers the Phillies have been trying to get a read on over the last month of the season. He’s failed to show any real consistency, which makes him no different than every other reliever on the roster. Over the last month of the season, the Phils will get a closer look at Horst, Aumont, Lindblom, and possibly Jake Diekman and Joe Savery again. Schwimer’s injury/demotion specifically paves the way for Aumont, who has yet to see action in the Majors since being called up on Tuesday.