Former first-rounder, seven players cut in Phillies’ third round of roster moves

On Tuesday, the Phillies announced seven more players, including Kolby Allard, who won't be on the team's Opening Day roster.
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Kolby Allard was sent to minor league camp in the latest round of spring training roster moves
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Kolby Allard was sent to minor league camp in the latest round of spring training roster moves / Rich Storry/GettyImages

With a little over a week away from Opening Day, the Philadelphia Phillies continue to trim their roster in preparation for the start of the 2024 season. In the latest round of roster moves, a total of seven players have been sent back down to the minors, with the most notable being former first-round pick Kolby Allard.

Allard was selected 14th overall by the Atlanta Braves in the 2015 MLB Draft and came with high expectations. However, he hasn’t come close to reaching his full potential since stepping foot into the majors in 2018. In his six seasons spread across his time with the Braves and the Texas Rangers, Allard has accumulated a 9-24 record with a 6.10 ERA and 1.43 WHIP while spending time as both a starter and a reliever. 

After signing a one-year, $1 million deal with the Phillies this offseason, Allard was looking to revitalize his once-promising career by joining a championship-aspiring team. With his pitching flexibility and prior extensive MLB experience, one figured that he could either be a decent starting pitching depth option or even challenge for a spot in the Phillies’ bullpen as a solid long-man heading into 2024.

So far this spring, though, Allard had only seen limited action, and when he did, he struggled with his control and command. In three appearances, he gave up three runs on six hits with four walks and six strikeouts in just 5 2/3 innings for a 3.18 ERA and 1.76 WHIP. His disappointing performance in the limited opportunities likely led to his fate of starting the season in the minors instead of building up his game. Allard will continue his quest back to prominence now with Phillies Triple-A affiliate Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Max Castillo, Darick Hall among the other six players sent to minor league camp

In addition, Max Castillo was another Phillies’ offseason move that couldn’t survive the latest round of cuts. Castillo was claimed off waivers from the Boston Red Sox back in early February to help bolster the organization’s pitching depth. He spent the majority of his time last season in the Kansas City Royals’ minor league system but still made seven appearances at the major league level, going 0-1 with a 4.43 ERA and 1.43 WHIP.

Castillo was looking to battle it out for a bullpen spot for 2024, in competition with the likes of Dylan Covey, Yunior Marté, and others. However, a sub-par spring thus far, with a 6.55 ERA and 1.64 WHIP, giving up eight earned runs on 15 hits in just 11 innings, led to his demise. As a result, Castillo will now join Allard in Lehigh Valley with hopes of working their way back up in due time.

To round out the rest of the roster moves, infielders Rodolfo Castro and Darick Hall were also optioned to Lehigh Valley. At the same time, journeyman pitchers Austin Brice and Ricardo Pinto, along with catcher Cody Roberts, were reassigned to minor league camp. In short, things haven’t panned out for Castro since his arrival at last year's Trade Deadline, whereas in the case of Hall, he has failed time and time again to translate his effective production in the minors to the major league level.

Hopefully, by the end of this week, we will have a clearer picture of who remains as frontrunners for spots on the Phillies’ Opening Day roster and who will begin the season in the minors.