Phillies trade away another struggling catcher in deal with Rockies

The Phillies have been busy offloading struggling catchers in recent weeks, with a low minors backstop the latest casualty.
The Philadelphia Phillies have traded catcher Jorge Mendez to the Rockies
The Philadelphia Phillies have traded catcher Jorge Mendez to the Rockies / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages
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With the trade deadline just a few short weeks away, the Philadelphia Phillies started off July with an early trade. It's just not the trade that Phillies fans have been waiting for.

Phillies trade away another struggling catcher in deal with Rockies

The Phillies have traded catcher Jorge Mendez to the Colorado Rockies for cash considerations. According to Mendez's MiLB player page, the deal was finalized on June 29. He was assigned to the Rockies' Arizona Complex League affiliate team on Monday.

If you haven’t heard the name, it’s okay; you haven’t missed much. Mendez, a native of Venezuela, signed with the Phillies in 2021 as a 17-year-old and spent two seasons playing with the Phillies' affiliate in the Dominican Summer League.

This season, the 20-year-old backstop had been playing with the Florida Complex League Phillies for the second straight year but hadn’t shown much improvement from his initial stint in 2023.

In 11 games, Mendez slashed .214/.290/.321 with a home run and a pair of RBI for the FCL Phillies. While his batting average isn’t much off his .217 mark from last year, his on-base and slugging percentages took a hit, dropping from .367 and .370, respectively.

The most alarming change in Mendez’s game this season is the flip-flop in his strikeout and walk rates. Last season, he walked at an 11.7 percent clip, but that fell off early this season with a 3.2 percent walk rate. He only struck out at a 1.7 percent rate in 2023 but saw that rise to 16.1 percent this year.

Perhaps the 5-foot-9 right-handed hitter has been trying to hit for more power, leading to more punch outs, but the change didn't result in more production.

This is the second struggling catcher the Phillies have traded in as many weeks. On June 18, they sent Double-A/Triple-A catcher William Simoneit to the Chicago Cubs, also for cash considerations.

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