Phillies news: Aaron Brown among 27 minor-league roster cuts
By Matt Rappa
The Phillies have released more than two dozen minor-league players.
As the Philadelphia Phillies continue to prepare for the five-round amateur draft next week (June 10-11) — as well as deal with the ongoing uncertainty of a 2020 major and minor-league season — they joined a list of several teams to cut minor-league players.
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Along with the reported release of infielder T.J. Rivera on Friday, the organization parted ways with 26 additional minor-leaguers, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury, who says most would have been let go at the end of spring training “as team did usual cut down.”
Among the cuts include southpaws Aaron Brown and Brandon Leibrandt.
Brown, 27, was drafted by the Phillies in the third round of the 2014 draft; he started out as an outfielder, but transitioned to relief pitcher in 2017. Last year, he went 5-4 with a 3.82 ERA across 45 appearances at Double-A Reading.
Leibrandt, 27, was drafted by the Phillies in the sixth round, also in 2014. He missed all of last season due to injury, but in 2018, went 4-1 with a 1.42 ERA across 20 appearances and six starts at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Other roster cuts, according to Baseball America, include:
- 2B: Hunter Stovall
- 3B: Ali Castillo, T.J. Rivera
- C: Juan Mendez, Willie Estrada
- LHP: Alberto Torres, Camilo Hinestroza, Daivin Perez, Junior Tejada, Nathanael Bido
- OF: Jordan McArdle, Ben Aklinski
- RHP: Brian Auerbach, Carlos Bustamante, Cristofer Adames, Joan Hernandez, Michael Gomez, Raul Mendoza, Sandro Rosario, Tyler Hallead, Waylon Richardson
- SS: Raibently Mercalina, Raul Rivas
According to Jay Floyd, the Phillies informed these minor leaguers of their release on Sunday. Twenty-five players, including Brown and Leibrandt, were identified by Baseball America. It is not known who the two other minor-leaguers are.
“Getting released sucks. But it also doesn’t have to be the end of the road. It means that you have to be head and shoulders better than the guys still in the system,” Phillies right-handed reliever Robert Stock tweeted last week. “But if you wanted to play MLB for awhile you were going to have to be that good anyway. Just have to get to work.”
The Phillies announced on Friday that they will continue to pay their nearly 350 minor-league players through at least June. Other teams have made a much longer commitment, including the Cincinnati Reds through the first week of September. The reigning World champion Washington Nationals, however, were recently in the news for cutting their minor leaguers’ weekly stipend from $400 to $300; ownership has since reversed that decision.
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The MLBPA issued a counterproposal to MLB on Sunday that would have the 2020 season begin on June 30 if approved. That still would not guarantee a minor-league season.
And, while the Phillies cut the aforementioned players so far, they still have not reached the extent of the Seattle Mariners, who as of Friday let go more than 50.
Uncertain times call for uncertain measures.