The Philadelphia Phillies finally announced a roster move on Tuesday afternoon, adding pitching depth by signing Kolby Allard to a contract for the 2024 season. It's the first move for the team since re-signing veteran starter Aaron Nola at the beginning of free agency in November.
The 26-year-old Allard was originally a first-round pick out of high school by the division rival Atlanta Braves in 2015. After debuting and appearing in three games for the Braves in 2018, the left-hander was traded to the Texas Rangers, where he spent four seasons up and down between the minors and big league club.
He was traded back to the Braves for Jake Odorizzi in November of 2022 but only pitched 12 1/3 innings for Atlanta in 2023 before landing on the IL in July with nerve inflammation in his shoulder. He was non-tendered by the Braves after the season.
Allard has thrown 245 innings in the majors since 2018, with a career-high of 124 2/3 coming back in 2021 with the Rangers. Despite his first-round pedigree, he hasn't been able to figure it out in the majors up to this point. He has a career 6.10 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP over 69 appearances (38 starts).
He boasts a four-pitch mix, with a four-seamer that averages 90-91 mph and a cut fastball that sat just below 93 mph last season. He also features an 82 mph changeup and a 72 mph curveball.
Allard is officially on the team's 40-man roster, but with one option year remaining, his addition gives the Phillies flexibility to let him work in Triple-A. He certainly seems like a Caleb Cotham project this spring if the Phillies want him to be part of the plans this season.