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The Phillies have claimed right-hander Nelson Figueroa off waivers, the team confirmed.
He is expected to join the Phillies, which means they would need to make a roster move upon his arrival. It is unclear when he will join the team, but he likely would be the team’s long man. Andrew Carpenter currently holds that role.
You may recall an article about Figueroa I wrote at Baseball Daily Digest a couple weeks ago. I concluded:
It’s hard to find a better bargain than Figueroa right now. And he’s giving the Mets every reason to insert him in the back of their starting rotation or in the bullpen. He has pitched eight scoreless innings in spring training with nine strikeouts and three walks. Spring training stats should, of course, be taken with a grain of salt — Johan Santana has a 9.00 ERA at the moment — but Figueroa certainly has pushed all the right buttons so far.
In the event the Mets do cut Figueroa, it would be hard to imagine 29 other teams passing up on such a low-risk, high-reward pitcher. Last year, he averaged 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings at the Major League level and had a K/BB ratio approaching 4.0 with Triple-A Buffalo.
With the team’s lack of starting pitching depth, this is a great pick-up by Ruben Amaro. Figueroa has been underrated throughout his career and will be able to fill in adequately as a spot starter or a short-term solution in the back of the Phillies’ starting rotation.
Additionally, Figueroa helps the Phillies meet their caterpillar eyebrow quota following the departure of Brett Myers.