Phillies Take Munson in Rule 5
The Phillies used 21 relief pitchers last season, so depth can be a serious issue.
They added another arm to their Spring Training bullpen competition today, when they selected right-hander Kevin Munson from the Diamondbacks in the Rule 5 Draft. He went 2-4 with a 4.12 ERA in 53 appearances last season with Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno, but has averaged 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings in his Minor League career.
“He’s a power reliever, a two-pitch power guy,” Phillies scouting director Mike Ondo said. “A big fastball with a hard slider. He’s a guy that can create some depth in our bullpen. Get him in the mix. In the past he’s been capable of giving you a two-inning outing. He’s also a guy that can come in with that stuff and get a strikeout.”
The Phillies lost right-hander Seth Rosin to the Mets. The Phillies acquired Rosin in July 2012 in the Hunter Pence trade. They also lost shortstop Jonathan Roof to the Red Sox in the Minor League phase of the draft.
“He was a guy we thought we had a chance to lose,” Ondo said about Rosin.
But Munson at the very least creates a little more competition for a young group that includes Justin De Fratus, Jake Diekman, B.J. Rosenberg, Michael Stutes, Phillippe Aumont, Jeremy Horst and others. Munson’s fastball is in the 92-95 mph range, but consistently sits 93-94 mph.
“I know the ERA was high, but the walks were down in Triple-A,” Ondo said. “And his strikeouts were still there. He started getting more groundballs in Triple-A. We saw him both places this year, and we’ve seen him in the past. We’ve liked the arm in the past. The way he’s progressed we figured we take a chance on that stuff.”
Munson must remain on the 25-man roster the entire season to remain with the organization. If not, another team can claim him or he can return to the Diamondbacks.