Phillies designate Gwynn for assignment

Posted: July 22, 2014

THE PHILLIES had a trio of roster moves before opening a seven-game homestand at Citizens Bank Park last night, most notably activating Cliff Lee from a 2-month stay on the disabled list.

While Lee, catcher Wil Nieves and infielder Reid Brignac returned, one of the roster casualties was outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr.

Gwynn signed a minor league deal over the winter but impressed enough in spring training to break camp with the team and remain on the roster for the season's first 3 1/2 months. But Gwynn hit .163 in 67 games and became expendable when the Phillies added Grady Sizemore to their outfield mix just before the All-Star break.

Gwynn was designated for assignment yesterday. He could remain with the Phillies if he accepts an assignment to Triple A Lehigh Valley.

"We did give him the option to remain with the organization, and we'll see," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He had limited playing time as of late, but overall a terrific guy and teammate."

Gwynn's dismissal was not unexpected, given his production and the crowded outfield, where Sizemore, Ben Revere, Domonic Brown, Marlon Byrd and John Mayberry Jr. have been getting more regular at-bats. Darin Ruf could join that outfield mix in the coming weeks, too.

But it was likely a difficult call for the Phillies front office to make nonetheless, since it was just a month ago that Gwynn was on the bereavement list following the death of his Hall of Fame father, Tony Gwynn.

"It was tough with Tony with everything he's gone through," Sandberg said. "He's a very professional guy, a terrific teammate, so it's tough."

Gwynn, 31, had a .485 OPS this season, which ranked 372nd out of the 376 major league players with at least 100 plate appearances.

Among the four players with a lower OPS: Dan Uggla (.472), who was released by the Atlanta Braves over the weekend and agreed to a minor league deal with the Giants yesterday.

Sizemore, meanwhile, has started all seven games since joining the team on July 11. He started in centerfield in place of Revere in last night's 7-4 loss to the Giants.

Sizemore, 31, went 1-for-5 and has hit safely in each of his first seven games (.379, 11-for-29). Before the game, Sandberg was asked if the former three-time All-Star could become an everyday option, even after his recent, injury-riddled past.

"I'm just kind of keeping tabs on him and with the [All-Star] break that we had, he got some rest," Sandberg said. "He's voiced his opinion to get as many reps as he can and games played. But I'm also going to pick my spots with him."

Kendrick to start Friday

Kyle Kendrick remains on tap to make his regular turn in the starting rotation on Friday, when the Phillies begin a three-game series at home against Arizona.

"As of right now he is," Sandberg said.

Kendrick fell to 4-10 with a 4.87 ERA in 20 starts this season following an 8-2 loss in Atlanta on Sunday. Dating back to the end of last season, Kendrick has a 5.38 ERA in his last 30 starts.

Among major league starters who have pitched at least 300 innings since the beginning of last season, Kendrick's 4.77 ERA is the highest in baseball.


David Buchanan, optioned to Triple A Lehigh Valley before the All-Star break, had a 4.40 ERA in 10 starts with the Phillies, but had a 2.93 ERA in his last five games. Last night, Buchanan gave up six hits and struck out six in six innings against Buffalo in his first start since rejoining the IronPigs . . . Carlos Ruiz batted third and started behind the plate at Class A Clearwater last night, the fourth game of his minor league rehab assignment. Ryne Sandberg said Ruiz could rejoin the Phillies by the end of the week. Ruiz suffered concussion symptoms after getting hit by a pitch on June 26 . . . In addition to Tony Gwynn, infielder Cesar Hernandez and catcher Koyie Hill were removed from the 25-man roster yesterday. Hernandez was optioned to Triple A Lehigh Valley while Hill was outrighted off the 40-man roster. Sandberg said the team wanted Hernandez to get more regular at-bats while also freshening up his skills at second base, his primary position.

On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21


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