Roster moves protect five young players

The annual rite of deciding who is protected from the 40-man roster and who is not protected came to a head with five recent roster additions. The Phillies deemed Justin DeFratus, Freddy Galvis, Harold Garcia, Cesar Hernandez and Matt Rizzotti worthy of needing protection and added the five to the roster.

As usual, there were also some notable players who weren’t protected and can now be taken by another team in the Rule 5 Draft, which will be held December 9.

The biggest question was whether former first-round pick Joe Savery would be protected. Savery is an interesting case. He has reached as high as Triple-A, but has never put up strong numbers as a pitcher and last season, the Phillies gave him permission to start working out as a first baseman and even put him in the line-up as a DH on a few occasions. After all, Savery was a good college hitter and some thought he could have been drafted as a first baseman, but the Phillies – and most other teams – saw him as a pitching prospect. As a DH, Savery was 9-for-18 (.500) with three RBI and hit a combined .348 (16-for-46), including hitting a pinch-hit home run against Lousville.

So, will another club decide that they can either, A) rejuvenate Savery as a pitcher – remember, he is a left-hander. B) Have Savery become a good enough hitter to handle major league pitching off the bench – remember, he does hit left-handed. or C) Figure they can use him as both a pitcher and possible pinch-hitter. They would have to feel that they can accomplish one of those goals and keep him on their major league roster all season long.

Another notable omission is D’Arby Myers, but it’s not nearly as surprising as Savery’s omission. Myers was drafted in the fourth round of the 2006 Draft and was thought to be a guy who might develop slowly, but not as slowly as he has progressed so far. This past season at Clearwater, Myers hit .268 and stole 14 bases. In five minor league seasons, Myers has hit just ten home runs and driven in 106 runs while hitting .253 in the minors. Those numbers, combined with the fact that Myers hasn’t played higher than High-A Clearwater, make it a long shot that another club will try to keep him on their major league roster for the entire 2011 season.

Chris Kissock is an interesting case. In four minor league seasons, he has posted a 3.69 ERA as both a starter and reliever in the Phillies minor league system. Most of his work has been as a reliever and he made just nine starts out of his 145 appearances in the minors through the 2010 season. Kissock was a ninth round pick in the 2007 Draft and has a career minor league ERA of 3.69 and has decent, but not dominating peripheral numbers. He reached Double-A Reading last season and it’s going to be interesting to see if another club takes a shot with him.

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