Phillies Finally Call Up Some Prospects, Also DFA Gomez and Saunders

Matt Klentak finally answered everyone’s angry tweets and comments, and made a roster move!

Let’s start with the named players in this deal. The Phillies have cut ties with their opening day closer and right fielder. Yes, Jeanmar Gomez and Michael Saunders have both been designated for assignment by the Phillies. Both players were supposed to be stop gaps to the future and instead were leaky sieves. Gomez got another crack at the closer role this year, but proved he couldn’t hold down that or a low leverage inning role. Michael Saunders was supposed to be the answer to the Phillies problems in right field (he wasn’t). He had a poor second half in 2016, but still posted a .253/.338/.478 season line. This year he did everything worse but strikeout, instead he traded some of those for more weak contact. In the end, Saunders hit .205/.257/.360 over 61 games and 214 plate appearances. The Phillies had a team option on Saunders and Gomez was a free agent so there is no longer term impact on the Phillies.

As for the prospects moving up, neither is a core part of the Phillies’ future. The Phillies took Cameron Perkins and Hoby Milner with their 6th and 7th round picks in the 2012 draft. Both are 26 and making their major league debuts.

Cameron Perkins is a right handed outfielder who has always hit at every level he has played at. He is currently in his third and best year in AAA, and was hitting .298/.338/.476 at the time of his callup. The knock against Perkins is that he is a tweener. The Phillies have played him a decent bit in center field in AAA, but it is not major league caliber defense. Even in his breakout this year in AAA he has 6 home runs and a .178 ISO which is not ideal for an every day corner outfielder. This year Perkin’s is walking more, to go with his typical low strikeout rate, but not at a rate high enough to carry his lack of raw power. Long term, Perkins is a bench outfield, maybe a platoon bat. It looks like he probably starts in a platoon role with Nava and gives the Phillies another outfielder when they want to rest Altherr or Herrera.

Hoby Milner has had a bit more of an interesting journey. He was a starting pitcher through 2014 when he was just ok in AA. As a reliever in 2015, he was just average. In 2016 he changed up his delivery to be more sidearm and started striking more batters out. His fastball still sits in the high 80s, and will occasionally touch 90, but his arm angle makes it tough to pick up. He also throws a breaking ball and changeup, and he can throw all three pitches for strikes. The Indians selected him this offseason in the Rule 5 draft, but he didn’t break camp with the team. His lack of impact stuff makes his likely future as a LOOGY. Currently the only left handed pitcher with the Phillies is Adam Morgan, so Milner should fill the situational lefty role that Mackanin tried forcing Joely Rodriguez into earlier this year.

Perkins and Milner are a bit underwhelming when compared to the demands of Scott Kingery or Nick Williams, but both could fill a role on the 2017 Phillies and possibly be minor parts of the team over the next few seasons.

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  1. JW

    June 20, 2017 03:58 PM

    I do not understand not calling up Williams?! I am assuming they are trying to maximize Nava’s worth for the deadline? Other than that the move really makes no sense to me.

    • Matt Winkelman

      June 20, 2017 04:06 PM

      They aren’t ready to play Williams everyday in the majors. Perkins won’t play everyday and they are fine with that.

      • Mike Fassano

        June 20, 2017 06:50 PM

        The Phillies will need a 5th outfielder next year. I’d platoon Perkins and Nava because Nava is a better Lefty hitter. When Nava is gone in a couple of weeks, bring up Williams.

    • Thumb

      June 20, 2017 04:13 PM

      Strikes out too much? Unless you hit 40 – 50 HRs, striking out a lot is a sure sign your being dominated by the pitching.

    • Mike Fassano

      June 21, 2017 04:59 AM

      It’s called LOYALTY, JW.

  2. Romus

    June 20, 2017 04:26 PM

    Perkins does have some versatility.
    Played all three OF positions and has played first base some.
    Third base, his position at Purdue and early on after being drafted is probably now out of the question.

  3. boomerbubba

    June 20, 2017 11:29 PM

    How ’bout those Phightin’ Phils !!

  4. boomerbubba

    June 20, 2017 11:32 PM


    Keep a close eye on Adam Morgan.

    • Mike Fassano

      June 21, 2017 06:35 AM


      As I look into my crystal ball I see Morgan, Fein, getting DFA’d, and Benoit, Neshek, Hellickson, and Kendrick getting traded. The return won’t be great, but it opens up roster spots.

      • Romus

        June 21, 2017 08:24 AM

        I see two with some [positive return value:
        Neshek…is a reliever….they have been getting good returns the last few years…..and he has the experience, especially lately with the Cardinals then last year with the the ‘Stros…he could bring back a good prospect.
        Howie Kendrick also may bring back something of future value in A ball.
        But agree…..moving them will open room on the 40, especially for guys like Pullin and Tocci in November.

      • ed

        June 21, 2017 04:58 PM

        You needed crystal ball for that prediction?

  5. Milton Trachtenburg

    June 21, 2017 06:58 AM

    The only reason these two stiffs are here is that the Phils don’t believe that the players who are the hopes for the future are ready. Or, to put it more bluntly, they could buy a mop and a bucket that could beat out Gomez and Saunders.

  6. Michael C Lorah

    June 21, 2017 07:36 AM

    I’m looking forward to seeing what Perkins and Milner can do.

    On the subject of the other prospects who’ve not gotten the call, I’m still wary of Williams (and Alfaro). His lack of strike zone judgment is a huge red flag for me. I wouldn’t mind giving Williams a look after Hernandez comes back and Kendrick gets traded, but I do agree that he should stay in AAA until you’re sure he’s going to play every day – and until Kendrick gets traded, he will get regular at-bats in the OF when Hernandez returns, so that’s not right now.

    I really don’t understand why Kingery isn’t in AAA already. Promoting him gives him better competition and gives you a better idea where he stands going into a possible September cup of coffee or into 2018 spring training. Also, frankly, moving out of Reading’s bandbox gives you a clearer idea about whether his power surge this season is something he can maintain at higher levels.

    I’d really like to see Hoskins promoted, but the Phils need to find a taker for Joseph to do that. Again, he shouldn’t be playing part time.

    • david

      June 21, 2017 07:54 AM

      Agree with all of this.

      Fwiw – Kingery’s power splits show very little indication of “the Reading effect”, with a home OPS of .978 (and SLG of .616) in 31 games vs. an away OPS of .979 (and SLG of .596) in 33 games.

      • Michael C Lorah

        June 21, 2017 08:11 AM

        That’s good to hear. I certainly hope it’s something he can carry into Philadelphia!

      • AndyB

        June 21, 2017 11:18 AM

        Kingery is still helped by his home park even though the splits do not show it. All this is still small sample size. This power is nice to see, but it still does not change his projection that much. Last year he was looking like an 8-10 HR guy. Now he looks more like a 12-15 HR guy in the majors (unless this power trend continues and then everybody needs to hit 30 HRs in the majors with all the small parks and juiced balls).

  7. glovesdroppa

    June 23, 2017 04:29 PM

    Maybe I have my Phils jammies on but I feel like a team that needs hitting could do a lot worse than Kendrick and Nava. Professional hitters on fair contracts.

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