Phillies unexpectedly add familiar faces on minor-league deals

Jorge Bonifacio #39 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Jorge Bonifacio #39 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Guess who’s back, back again, in the Phillies organization?

As the Philadelphia Phillies and President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski continue to shape the roster ahead of the 2022 season, the organization recently welcomed back a few familiar faces on minor-league pacts.

In addition to re-signing one of manager Joe Girardi’s longtime and presuming favorite infielders, Ronald Torreyes, Dombrowski inked deals with outfielder Jorge Bonifacio and right-handed pitcher Michael Mariot.

Bonifacio, 28, collected just a single, two RBI, one walk, and six strikeouts spanning 12 plate appearances last season with the Phillies. He did not commit any errors across 21 innings and five chances combined in left and center field.

In 94 games combined between the Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley levels, meanwhile, the Dominican Republic native slashed .256/.360/.506 with 26 doubles, two triples, 17 home runs, 60 RBI, 52 walks, and 82 strikeouts across 381 plate appearances.

Before playing with the Phillies, Bonifacio logged MLB action with the Kansas City Royals (2017-19) and Detroit Tigers (2020).

The 33-year-old Mariot returns to the Phillies organization for the first time since 2016 when he went 1-0 with a 5.82 ERA and 1.477 WHIP spanning 25 appearances and 21 2/3 innings. That same year, he allowed 18 hits, 14 runs (all earned), five home runs, and 14 walks, while striking out 23 of his 95 batters faced.

The right-hander has not pitched in the majors since. In 2017, he went 7-2 with a 4.42 ERA in 45 games with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Mariot pitched for the Kansas City Royals and San Diego Padres affiliates the following year, before making a comeback with the Cincinnati Reds’ Triple-A affiliate last season — going 6-5 with a 4.02 ERA and 1.233 WHIP across 19 appearances, 18 of which were starts.

The Phillies seemingly have very few backup starting pitcher options at the higher levels of their farm system, so the addition of Mariot makes sense. If the team hopes to contend in 2022, however, Mariot reaching the majors would mean many unfortunate injuries took place to the big-league rotation.

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