Pork Barrel Blog: Pigs on the Move, Part 1
In his first Pork Barrel Blog of the offseason, IronPigs media assistant Pat McCarthy takes a look at the whereabouts of some 2017 IronPigs that were no longer under contract with the Phillies following the season.
SHP Pat Venditte: The switch pitcher spent the entire 2017 season in the IronPigs' pen after being acquired by the Phillies at the back end of spring training. The 32-year-old is on the move once again, signing with the National League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. Venditte is on a minor league deal with LAD, but did receive an invitation to big league camp. Last year with the Pigs, he appeared in 52 games, posting a 9-5 record with a 3.36 ERA and a pair of saves over 69.2 innings.
RHP Michael Mariot: A dependable reliever for Lehigh Valley last season, Mariot went 7-2 in 45 games and 57 innings. A minor league free agent, Mariot signed a contract with the San Diego Padres. The 29-year-old has big league experience, logging 49 innings for Philadelphia and will compete for a big league bullpen spot with San Diego.
OF Carlos Tocci: The 21-year-old outfielder was left unprotected by the Phillies and was selected with the fourth pick of the 2017 Rule 5 draft by the Chicago White Sox. Tocci was quickly moved to the Texas Rangers in a trade for international signing money. The former IronPig will need to remain on the Rangers' 25-man roster all season or will be offered back to the Phillies. If Tocci does not make the Rangers' Opening Day roster as an extra outfielder, expect him to be in Lehigh Valley Opening Day lineup.
RHP Jesen Therrien: Therrien joined the IronPigs pen a month into the season after dominating in Reading (AA). Success in Lehigh Valley resulted in a midseason promotion to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, the 24-year-old didn't find his groove with the Phils prior to injuring his right elbow. He was placed on the 60-day DL, ultimately needing Tommy John surgery. Removed from the 40-Man Roster, Therrien became a FA and signed a two-year contract with the Dodgers.
1B/OF Brock Stassi: A non-roster invite to spring training in 2017, Stassi put together impressive Grapefruit League numbers and broke camp with the Phillies. Serving as a backup first baseman, Stassi appeared in 51 games and hit two home runs before returning to the minors. The 28-year-old appeared in 167 career games for the IronPigs over the past two seasons. In signing a minor-league deal with the Minnesota Twins, Stassi could return to Coca-Cola Park as a member of the Rochester RedWings.
OF Cameron Perkins: Claimed off waivers by the Seattle Mariners, Perkins has an opportunity to be an extra outfielder for a young Seattle squad. Perkins is on the Mariners 40-Man Roster; so assuming he puts together a strong Spring, he should find himself in Seattle on Opening Day. Interestingly, the Mariners originally selected Perkins in the 43rd round of the 2009 MLB Draft out of high school, but he did not sign. The 27-year-old appeared in 76 games for the IronPigs last year and 42 games with Philadelphia in his ML debut season.
RHP Colton Murray: One of the veteran arms out the IronPigs pen during the 2017 season, Murray has signed a minor-league deal with an invite to big league camp with the Tampa Bay Rays. Murray struck out 45 batters in 40 innings for the Pigs last year while posting a 5.53 ERA. The 27-year-old gives the Rays organization depth and is expected to open the season with Durham (AAA).
INF Angelo Mora: Mora added organizational depth for the Phillies, starting games at five different positions between Reading and Lehigh Valley during the 2017 season. Mora signed a minor-league contract with the Orioles at the beginning of the offseason. The 24-year-old's stint with Baltimore was short lived, as he was selected in the AAA portion of the Rule 5 draft by the Dodgers earlier this month.
At the time of writing these capsules, the following 2017 IronPigs are still currently minor league FA: RHP Henderson Alvarez , RHP Pedro Beato , INF Ty Kelly , INF Christian Marrero , INF Hector Gomez , OF Herlis Rodriguez , LHP Cesar Ramos and C Nick Rickles .
However, over the past week, the Phillies came to terms on minor-league deals with both Beato and Rickles. Of course, Beato set the IronPigs single-season saves record (33) during a 2017 season in which the 30-year-old was named to both the mid and postseason International League All-Star team. His 33 saves also led all of Minor League Baseball.
-- Oink On --
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.