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Phils add two, lose three in Rule 5 draft

Herrera
Odubel Herrera
In the major league portion of the yearly Rule 5 draft that took place this morning at the MLB Winter Meetings, the Phillies selected 2B/SS Odubel Herrera from the Texas Rangers and lefty hurler Andy Oliver from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Each player must remain on the Phillies' big league roster for the entire 2015 season or would have to be offered back to the team they were selected from.

Last season combined at Class A Advanced and Double-A in the minors, the 22-year-old posted a .315/.383/.388 slash line with 21 steals in 125 games. He has played 135 of his 574 pro games at the position that is of most concern with the reported trade of Jimmy Rollins, shortstop. Defensively, it is said that Herrera has some progress to make with the glove, but with 10 games played in the outfield last year, he touts the versatility that enhances his value as a bench player, if the Phils are to keep him on their roster next year.

Currently playing in the Venezuelan Winter League, 5-foot-11 lefty batter sports a league-best .374 batting average with a .986 OPS in 42 games with La Guaira, the same team that Phils pitching prospects Ethan Martin and Mike Nesseth play for.

Oliver, who touts questionable control (7.6 BB/9 in 77 games the past two seasons at Triple-A Indianapolis), fills a void in a collection of lefties competing for a big league spot in spring traning next year after the dealing of Antonio Bastardo.

As a reliever last year, the 27-year-old, who has big league experience with the Tigers, tallied a 3-4 record with 13 saves and a 2.53 ERA and a .157 BAA.

In the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft, the Phillies elected not to make any selections, but had a trio of players plucked from their organization.

Righty hurler Kyle Simon was taken by Colorado. He had been acquired from Baltimore in the 2012 Jim Thome trade. In 36 games with Double-A Reading last year, the 24-year-old posted a 5-2 record with three saves and a 2.64 ERA.  He also appeared in 10 games at the Triple-A level, posted a 9.42 ERA while striking out eight and walking 10 in 14 1/3 innings.

Delvi Francisco, a right-handed reliever, had been converted to the mound after spending two seasons in the outfield. The 22-year-old sported an 8.29 ERA in 22 games with Class A Lakewood last year.

Outfielder Peter Lavin was taken by the Dodgers. The 26-year-old was a 20th round draft choice in 2011. He posted a .287/332/.441 slash line in 128 combined games with Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading last season.

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