The Philadelphia Phillies kicked off the week with a pair of strategic moves, bolstering their roster with utility player Diego Castillo, acquired via waivers from the Yankees, and adding right-handed reliever Michael Rucker through a cash consideration trade with the Cubs.
Before these maneuvers, the Phillies boasted a 40-man roster, with 39 players listed. The addition of Castillo and Rucker necessitated a corresponding adjustment, leading to the designation for assignment of reliever Andrew Bellatti, thereby freeing up the final roster slot.
Castillo, aged 26, brings versatility to the Phillies’ lineup. Not to be confused with another player of the same name in the Rays/Mariners organization, Castillo previously featured in 96 games for the Pirates in 2022, with a solitary at-bat during his brief stint with the Diamondbacks in 2023.
Across his career, Castillo has maintained a .296 batting average and .410 on-base percentage in Triple-A over 177 games, showcasing proficiency across multiple positions, notably excelling at shortstop.
Meanwhile, Rucker joins the Phillies’ bullpen following his recent designation for assignment by the Cubs upon the acquisition of Hector Neris. Having logged 76 appearances for Chicago over the past two seasons, Rucker boasts a respectable 4.36 ERA and 1.35 WHIP across 95 innings.
With his 30th birthday approaching in April, Rucker offers a varied pitching arsenal, primarily relying on his fastball and cutter combination, which accounted for the majority of his pitches in 2023.
Notably, Rucker’s acquisition provides flexibility for the Phillies, as he possesses a minor-league option, allowing the team to assign him to the minors without the need for waivers.
In contrast, Bellatti, who has been with the Phillies since November 2021, faces an uncertain future after being designated for assignment.
Despite an impressive showing in 2022 with a 3.31 ERA and 78 strikeouts over 54⅓ innings, Bellatti endured setbacks in the following season due to a triceps injury, resulting in a diminished performance and a subsequent 5.11 ERA.
With his minor-league options exhausted, Bellatti now awaits his fate on waivers, potentially becoming a free agent if unclaimed by another team.