Phillies add pitching only way they can during MLB lockout

Oct 2, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Kyle Dohy (left) throws a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the eighth inning at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Kyle Dohy (left) throws a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the eighth inning at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports /

Amidst MLB’s lockout restrictions, the Phillies have tendered seven minor league contracts with non-roster spring training invites

Working around the ongoing MLB lockout the Philadelphia Phillies have signed seven pitchers to minor league contracts with spring training invites:

  1. Cam Bedrosian 
  2. Andrew Bellatti
  3. Tyler Cyr
  4. Joe Gatto
  5. Michael Kelly
  6. Jake Newberry
  7. Kyle Dohy

Bedrosian will likely be the most familiar name to Phillies fans, as he appeared in 11 games for the club in 2021, accumulating 10 1/3 innings of work for his father’s former team. Steve Bedrosian, of course, won the 1987 Cy Young with the Phillies.

Bellatti pitched well in his debut season with the Tampa Bay Rays way back in 2015 but did not pitch in the Majors again until 2021, when he made three appearances for the Miami Marlins.

Cyr was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 10th round of the 2015 June draft and has never pitched in the majors. This year, the reliever had a 4.91 ERA over 32 games for the Giants’ Triple-A team in Sacramento, and a 1.08 ERA over 10 appearances for the Giagantes del Cibao of the Dominican Winter League. Cyr has a lifetime 2.99 ERA over six minor-league seasons, so maybe all he needs is a chance with a new franchise.

Gatto is another longtime minor-leaguer yet to sniff the big leagues. The righty split his 2021 season between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock in the Texas Rangers system, after spending the first six seasons of his professional career on the Los Angeles Angels farm. The former second-round pick doesn’t exactly have a thrilling resumé; while he’s consistently improved his strikeouts-per-nine over the years, he doesn’t have an ERA lower than 3.81 at any level of the minors.

Kelly was the San Diego Padres’ first-round pick in 2011, and he’s still toughing it out in the minors. 2021 was arguably his best season; with the Houston Astros’ Double and Triple-A affiliates, he compiled a career-best 2.70 ERA over 41 relief appearances. This was his first year posting an ERA under 4.05, so maybe it’s not too late for the 29-year-old righty.

Newberry is one of the only pitchers on this list with big-league experience. He’s also one of the only players in this conversation who wasn’t drafted in an early round; the Kansas City Royals took him way down in the 37th round of the 2012 June Amateur Draft, which goes to show that drafting is often a total crapshoot.

The righty made his debut in August 2018, and has 65 career relief appearances under his belt over the last four years, all as a Royal. Newberry compiled a 4.07 ERA over 51 games between 2018-2020, including finishing 15 and earning one save, however, he really struggled in 2021. He was lit up in three of his four appearances, allowing eight runs over 4 1/3 total innings. It’s a small sample size, so hopefully, the Phillies can turn him around and he can be productive here.

Last but not least, the Phillies brought back a homegrown player in Dohy. They drafted him in the 16th round of the 2017 June draft, and he’s been here ever since. Dohy made his debut at the very end of 2021, pitching one scoreless inning to finish the penultimate game of the season on October 2. He had a lifetime 3.69 ERA over 141 minor-league appearances, including 61 games finished and 15 saves.

What moves can the Phillies make during MLB’s lockout?

During the ninth work stoppage in MLB history, teams cannot complete big-league trades (though they can discuss them) or free-agent signings, but they can make minor-league moves. Team owners and executives aren’t even supposed to be in contact with players.

While none of these new pitchers are exactly thrilling additions, the Phillies’ depleted, low-ranking farm system needs quantity before we can begin to talk about quality.

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