Phillies add Austin Davis, Rafael Marchan to player pool

Left-hander Austin Davis and catcher Rafael Marchan have joined the Phillies player pool

Just two days before their first of three exhibition games ahead of Opening Day on July 24, the Philadelphia Phillies have added two more players to their player pool — southpaw reliever Austin Davis and minor-league catching prospect Rafael Marchan.

Both have been added to the injured list, according to The Athletic’s Meghan Montemurro; they were absent from summer camp due to a “medical illness,” reports NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury.

Davis, 27, has often traveled between the majors in Triple-A Lehigh Valley since his June 2018 big-league debut. Spanning 46 combined outings, 17 of which finished the game, the Scottsdale, Arizona, native has gone 1-2 with a 5.04 ERA, 62-26 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 1.500 WHIP in 55 1/3 innings.

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When the Phillies named their initial player pool in late June, Davis joined INF Arquimedes Gamboa, LHP Christopher Sanchez, RHP Adonis Medina, RHP David Robertson (60-day injured list) and RHP Seranthony Dominguez (60-day injured list) as Phillies on their 40-man roster who were not included. The others still have not been added, although at least Robertson is optimistic he will get a look this season, likely no sooner than August.

Marchan, 21, hit a combined .261/.333/.325 last year between Lakewood and Clearwater. Although the switch-hitter has yet to slug a home run in his career since signing out of Venezuela as a teenager, the catcher has produced 40 doubles, three triples, 61 walks, and 79 RBI since 2016; he has as many career strikeouts as RBI.

Salisbury writes Marchan’s defense impressed Phillies skipper Joe Girardi, a former catcher, down in Clearwater earlier this year. In particular, Girardi called him a “master” blocker of balls in the dirt. He got the opportunity with Andrew Knapp (oblique) and Deivy Grullon (tooth infection) being sidelined at the time.

Davis and Marchan are the Phillies’ first additions to their player pool since early July, when they added minor-league catchers Henri Lartigue and Logan O’Hoppe, as well as right-handed reliever Anthony Swarzak.

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With Marchan, the Phillies now have six catchers on their player pool roster (J.T. Realmuto, Knapp, Grullon, Lartigue, O’Hoppe), none of whom being non-roster invitee veteran Christian Bethancourt, who has been kept away from camp, as previously were Aaron Nola and Adam Haseley, due to COVID-19 protocols.

The Phillies can have up to 60 players in their pool; half of them will make the team on the Opening Day roster, with the other half reporting to the alternate training site in Lehigh valley.

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