Sunday, March 17, 2013

Surprising Minor League Cuts Begin For Phils

Eldemire and Duffy with Lakewood in 2012
Following releases last week that didn't catch many off guard (details here, here and here), the Phillies began some more house cleaning on Sunday when they cut ties with a pair of players that many people thought were not at risk of losing their spots in the system, as first baseman Chris Duffy and outfielder Gauntlett Eldemire were both released by the Phils, making each man a free agent.

Duffy, a 26th round draft choice in 2010 out of the University of Central Florida, had an outstanding season in 2012 with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws.  In 60 games there, the lefty batting slugger posted a .384 average with 11 homers and 56 RBI.  Additionally, in two different stints with Class A Advanced Clearwater last year, Duffy sported a .236 average with two home runs and 15 RBI.  The 25-year-old was credited with helping some of his younger Lakewood teammates excel at the plate as well.

Eldemire, a 6th round draft selection in 2010 out of Ohio University, made his pro playing debut last year, as he was sidelined following multiple wrist surgeries after signing with the Phillies.  In 72 games with the BlueClaws last season, the righty hitter batted .227 with two home runs, 18 RBI and 18 stolen bases. Following a contest on July 8th, Eldemire, who turned 24-years-old last month, missed the remainder of the 2012 season after suffering a leg injury.

These two cuts come as quite a surprise, as Duffy showed considerable power and an ability to be selective at the plate.  However, according to Phillies beat writer Dennis Deitch, Duffy had shown up to spring training out of shape and displayed minimal hustle this weekend.  Eldemire seemed to be deserving of more time to prove himself, after experiencing a stretch of poor luck regarding his health.  The promising speedster showed loads of skills with Lakewood last year and didn't perform too badly, overall, for a player competing in the professional ranks for the first time.

Kennelly with Reading in 2012
Additionally on Sunday, the Phillies parted ways with righty pitcher and utility man Tim Kennelly.  The Australian had been in the organization dating back to 2003, when he was signed as an international free agent at the age of 16.  Kennelly, who played catcher, third base and outfield during his minor league career was converted to a pitcher last season and posted a 6.23 ERA in 10 outings with Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading.

Keep it locked here in the coming days for all your minor league roster news and updates.

Also, news out of Clearwater had pitchers Justin De Fratus, Jake Diekman, Cesar Jimenez and infielder Josh Fields all being reassigned to minor league camp.
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