In a move that warranted some head-scratching, the Philadelphia Phillies recently designated left-hander Andrew Vasquez for assignment to make room for trade deadline acquisition Michael Lorenzen. At the time, it was a seriously confusing move. Why move on from Vasquez, who had been pitching fairly well, instead of someone like Dylan Covey?
After a further look into the numbers and a nicely-written piece by our very own Mike Sadowsky, opinions have changed. Perhaps there's hope for Covey after all, and perhaps Vasquez truly was the odd man out in the Phillies bullpen corps.
Instead of passing through waivers un-claimed, the Phillies took to Twitter on Friday to announce that the 29-year-old has been claimed off of waivers by the Detroit Tigers. It appears that he will immediately slot into the Tigers' big league bullpen alongside fellow southpaw options Tyler Holton and Chasen Shreve.
Prior to joining the Phillies this past offseason via waiver claim from the Giants, Vasquez had already begun his transition into a bit of a journeyman. In pieces of five seasons in the bigs, he has already made appearances for each of the Twins, Dodgers, Blue Jays, Giants and Phillies. However, his numbers did not really start to look like big league-quality until this season, when he put together a solid 30-game showing in Philadelphia.
During that time, Vasquez went 2-1 with a sparkling 2.27 ERA and 190 ERA+ alongside a somewhat more concerning 4.31 FIP. The FIP number is not to be considered as "bad" per se, but it is a much more accurate representation of how valuable he actually was with the Phillies. In his 39+ innings as a Phillie, Vasquez did a decent job of keeping runners off the bases but had begun to surrender much more hard contact that led to runs being scored off of him prior to his being DFA'd, so perhaps the club picked the perfect time to cut bait.