15 Phillies connections in the 2022 Caribbean Series

2022 Caribbean baseball series logo is seen at the Quisqueya stadium in Santo Domingo, on January 29, 2022. (Photo by Federico PARRA / AFP) (Photo by FEDERICO PARRA/AFP via Getty Images)
2022 Caribbean baseball series logo is seen at the Quisqueya stadium in Santo Domingo, on January 29, 2022. (Photo by Federico PARRA / AFP) (Photo by FEDERICO PARRA/AFP via Getty Images) /
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YOKOHAMA, JAPAN – JULY 31: Isaac Rodriguez #74 and Joey Meneses #32 of Team Mexico celebrate at home plate after Meneses hit a two-run home run against Team Japan in the eighth inning during the baseball opening round Group A game on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Yokohama Baseball Stadium on July 31, 2021 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN – JULY 31: Isaac Rodriguez #74 and Joey Meneses #32 of Team Mexico celebrate at home plate after Meneses hit a two-run home run against Team Japan in the eighth inning during the baseball opening round Group A game on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Yokohama Baseball Stadium on July 31, 2021 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images) /

Joey Meneses

Infielder and outfielder Joey Meneses played for Mexico, going 3-for-19, with a lone RBI, in five games. The RBI came on a single in the team’s first game of the series, a 3-2 loss to the Dominican Republic. Mexico went 3-2 in the round-robin, before losing to the Dominican Republic in their semi-final game.

Meneses spent a single season in the Phillies organization, where he had a great year with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He joined the team as a free agent in 2018 and slashed .311/.360/.510, with 23 HR and 82 RBI, in 130 games, winning the International League’s MVP award. He was also a three-time Player of the Week for the league.

Despite the success, he was released by the Phillies that October, so he could pursue an opportunity with the Orix Buffaloes in the Japan Pacific League.

Tyler Alexander

Left-hander Tyler Alexander pitched for the Dominican Republic. He started the team’s opening game against Mexico, giving up two runs, off of five hits, in three innings. He did much better in their semi-final rematch, giving up just a single run and hit, while striking out five, in eight innings, to help the team advance to the championship game.

Alexander signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies in July 2021, after starting the year with a 2.23 ERA in five starts for the Sussex County Miners, in the independent Frontier League. He had a 4.44 ERA and 1.443 WHIP in nine games (four starts) with Triple-A Lehigh Valley before being released in late September.

Elniery Garcia

Left-hander Elniery Garcia pitched for Colombia, making just one appearance, a start in the team’s semi-final win over Venezuela. He gave up a hit and four walks in 6 2/3 scoreless innings of the 8-1 victory. Colombia went 3-2 in round-robin action, before winning the championship over the Dominican Republic.

Garcia signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies in 2012, remaining in the team’s farm system until July 2018, when he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for future considerations. He had a 28-28 record, 3.56 ERA, and 1.360 WHIP in 100 career minor-league games, all but 14 of which were with the Phillies organization.

He had a 12-4 record and 2.68 ERA with High-A Clearwater in 2016, being named a MiLB.com Organizational All-Star, but appeared in only seven minor-league games the following year, due to an 80-game suspension and a shoulder injury.

Harold Arauz

Right-hander Harold Arauz pitched for Panama, starting the team’s opening game against Puerto Rico, where he gave up one run, off of two hits and two walks, in six innings.

Arauz was acquired by the Phillies in December 2015 as part of the Vince Velasquez package from the Houston Astros, where the Phillies sent closer Ken Giles and shortstop Jonathan Arauz to Houston. Despite having the same last name and both being born in Panama, Ken Rosenthal reported that there was no relation between the two Arauz’s.

Harold Arauz spent three seasons in the Phillies organization before electing free agency. He had a 3.54 ERA in 77 games (54 starts) during those three years, across all levels between rookie ball and Triple-A. A notable achievement came in July 2017 with High-A Clearwater, when he pitched a seven-inning no-hitter, issuing just one walk while recording 10 strikeouts.

Carlos Francisco

Right-hander Carlos Francisco pitched for Puerto Rico, making two relief appearances. He gave up two unearned runs, off of two hits, in 1 1/3 innings against the Dominican Republic, before surrendering one run, off of three hits, in 2/3 inning against Mexico.

Francisco is the only current member of the Phillies organization to take part in this year’s Caribbean Series. He was drafted in the 28th round of the 2019 MLB Draft, pitching in 14 Gulf Coast League games that year, with a 3-2 record and 3.68 ERA.

Francisco spent last season between rookie ball, Low-A Clearwater, and High-A Jersey Shore, recording a 5.08 ERA and 1.376 WHIP in 26 games. His best results came with Clearwater, where he had a 2.84 ERA, one win, and three saves in 14 games.

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