Philadelphia Phillies return Rule 5 draft pick Kevin Munson to the Arizona Diamondbacks


Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Munson, we hardly knew ya.

When the Phillies selected the former Diamondbacks minor league pitcher in the Rule 5 draft, they knew he probably wasn’t ready for the major leagues. But that’s what you get when you select Rule 5 players: You’re basically using a roster spot on a player who likely won’t be able to contribute much, in hopes that he’ll one day develop into a useful piece.

With the Phillies bullpen in a state of flux, the Phillies apparently decided that they couldn’t waste a spot in that manner. Presumed setup man Mike Adams is due to start the season on the disabled list, and few of the other pitchers have done much to decisively prove that they belong on the team. The team must have figured that without many reliable options on hand, they couldn’t afford to carry a pitcher who likely wouldn’t contribute much.

The Phillies gave Munson a chance this spring, but he didn’t do much to prove he deserved to stay with the team. With six strikeouts in seven exhibition innings, it is obvious that he has good stuff. However, the eight walks he allowed indicate that he isn’t quite able to command it.

The Phillies are now left hoping that Munson never develops that command. If he eventually becomes a good reliever, they’ll probably wish that they had found a place for him.