Phillies Claim Jerome Williams off of Waivers

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday that the Phillies claimed pitcher Jerome Williams off of waivers from the Texas Rangers. Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Phillies are sending $20,000 to the Rangers as compensation. To make room for Williams on the roster, the club designated Sean O’Sullivan for assignment. Williams is expected to start Tuesday.

As far as roster moves go, this one is pretty inconsequential; a rearranging of the deck chairs, if you will. O’Sullivan struggled last Thursday against the Astros, making an emergency start when the Phillies traded Roberto Hernandez — that night’s starter — to the Dodgers earlier in the day. It was O’Sullivan’s second start for the Phillies this season, and neither of them went well. Overall, he allowed nine runs on 15 hits and a pair of walks while striking out seven in 11 2/3 innings.

Williams, 32, is a journeyman pitcher joining his third organization in six weeks. He started the season with the Astros, and posted a 6.04 ERA with a 38/16 K/BB ratio in 47 2/3 innings across 26 appearances, all in relief. The Astros released him on July 8, and the Rangers picked him up a few days later. In two starts spanning 10 innings for the Rangers, Williams allowed 11 runs on 18 hits and three walks while striking out six. He is a nine-year veteran with a career 4.43 xFIP across 834 innings.

Williams will likely perform poorly for the Phillies, but claiming pitchers like him on waivers is what the Phillies should be doing at this point. If they’re lucky, they’ll be able to move A.J. Burnett and Kyle Kendrick before the month is out, and they can pick up more detritus off of the waiver wire or through free agency to soak up the remaining starts.

The Phillies are thin on starting pitching depth at Triple-A. Remaining options include Greg Smith and Brad Lincoln. O’Sullivan could wind up back in the organization, as he did earlier in the season after he was designated for assignment. Adam Loewen has been pitching well at Double-A Reading and could also merit consideration. But any way you look at it, any remaining starts that need to be taken will be taken by a less-than-palatable option.

This will become familiar once the Phillies truly begin their rebuild. If Kendrick and Burnett aren’t moved by the end of August, then Kendrick goes into free agency and the Phillies will heavily shop Burnett and Cole Hamels in the off-season. If and when both are moved, the Phillies’ rotation would be led by… David Buchanan. GM Ruben Amaro will have to go into free agency and sign a few arms to soak up the innings, but they’re more likely to be of the Kevin Correia variety than Max Scherzer. Get used to seeing detritus in the Phillies’ rotation, it’s going to be a long two years at least.

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  1. Evan

    August 11, 2014 07:54 AM

    David Buchanan being the opening day starter of 2015 will draw comparisons to 1989 when Floyd Youmans was the opening day starter.

    • eddie

      August 11, 2014 08:24 AM

      I think we’ll have lots of things in the next few years that remind us of the late 80s … Cody Asche can probably pass for Rick Schu. Tommy Joseph is injured often enough that he can be an early-career Dutch Daulton. If Freddy Glavis can keep not hitting and work on making a few more errors, he’s your Steve Jeltz…

    • Greg

      August 11, 2014 02:46 PM

      I think Buchanan can at least be Kevin Gross…

  2. batters eye

    August 11, 2014 09:14 AM

    is jason marquis available to pitch? why bother with these garbage heap waiver wire arms>

    a far cry from the 4 aces!

    • drew

      August 11, 2014 09:35 AM

      I was about to ask that. I haven’t heard anything about him in a while.

    • SteveH

      August 11, 2014 10:06 AM

      Marquis was placed on DL sometime around the end of July and I don’t think he has come back yet.

  3. d'ante benjamin

    August 11, 2014 06:02 PM

    Finally a promising young pitcher for us to dream on. Roster really rounding into form.

  4. ASK

    August 12, 2014 06:29 AM

    I fully expect Cole Hamels and Buchanan to be part of next year’s rotation and I would say it’s better than even money that they don’t trade Burnett and that he’ll be in the rotation unless he retires. Despite what RAJ has said about 2015 and 2016, I just don’t see this front office blowing up the team during prime ticket marketing season.

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