2 New Phillies
Back before Thanksgiving, all 30 major league clubs needed to file their 40-man winter rosters. Players with six years of pro experience not on those rosters were then eligible for the Rule 5 draft.
Mike Ondo, Director, Professional Scouting, circulated the list of eligible Rule 5 players to all Phillies scouts. A homework assignment, if you will.
Teams that make Rule 5 selections pay $50,000. That player must remain on a team’s 25-man roster all season or be offered back to his original club for $25,000.
With two open spots on the 40-man roster, the Phillies drafted two players, a 22-year-old infielder-outfielder, Odubel Herrera from the Texas organization and lefty reliever Andy Oliver, 27, taken from the Pittsburgh organization.
Herrera, a left-handed batter from Vanezuela, hit .315 between Myrtle Beach (A, Carolina League) and Frisco (AA, Texas League). He was selected to the in-season Texas League All-Star team and again to the postseason team. In six minor league seasons, he’s compiled a .294 average. He doesn’t hit for much power, 98 career doubles, 27 triples, 12 homers and 128 stolen bases.
He’s played second base, shortstop, left field and center field. Jayson Stark tweeted he’ll be tried in center.
Oliver was a second-round Detroit pick in 2009. He pitched briefly for the Tigers in the majors, 0-5 in 2010-11. He was traded to the Pirates after the 2012 season and pitched the last two seasons in Indianapolis (AAA). He was a starter in 2013, 5-4, 4.05 ERA, 112 walks, 138 strikeouts and 124 innings.
He moved to the bullpen in 2014 and was lights out, 3-4, 2.53, 13 saves with 85 strikeouts in 64 innings. He was an in-season AAA All-Star.
One thing is certain, both will be given plenty of exposure in spring training.