The Phillies have made their first round of cuts from the major league roster. Most of the cuts were expected, but there was one slightly surprising name listed among the players sent down.
Michael Stutes has spent time with the Phillies over the past three seasons. In 2011 he emerged as a valuable middle reliever, but injuries have prevented him from repeating that success the past two years. He suffered from shoulder issues in 2012 that caused him to miss the majority of the season. After returning in 2013, he started out well, but then biceps tendonitis limited his effectiveness, eventually sending him back to the disabled list.
Thus far in Spring Training, Stutes has not performed well, allowing seven runs in three innings. Despite those struggles, Stutes said he was surprised to be sent down so early:
“I didn’t expect it to be the first round,” he said. “The last couple outings weren’t what I expected. They weren’t what they needed to be. I’m just trying to get my body back to where I need it to be to get people out. It just didn’t work out.”
I’ve always been a fan of Stutes, if for no other reason than I think that if he grew a mustache, he’d look exactly like Bob from the television show Bob’s Burgers.
Other players sent down to the minors were pitchers Luis Garcia and Jesse Biddle, outfielders Aaron Altherr, Kelly Dugan and Leandro Castro and catcher Sebastian Valle. Of those players, Biddle is the most notable, as he is generally regarded as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect. There was some speculation that he might be used to fill the fifth starter spot while Cole Hamels is out, but management seems opposed to that idea.