After five mostly forgettable innings, the Phillies have designated LHP Daniel Stumpf for assignment. In a corresponding move, Severino Gonzalez has been recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. As you may remember, the Phillies acquired Stumpf as a Rule 5 selection from the Royals this offseason. After pitching less than one inning over three appearances in April, Stumpf was suspended 80 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Following his suspension, Stumpf pitched four times in the past week, failing to strike out a batter in three of the four appearances. For the season, he pitched 5 innings, faced 25 batters, and allowed 2 walks, 9 hits, and 6 earned runs, while recording only 2 strikeouts. Last night’s game, which I had the misfortune to witness first hand, was the last straw, as Stumpf allowed five hits and three runs in two innings of work, though he was able to register his first two career strikeouts.
Because he was a Rule 5 pick, the Royals will have the option to reacquire Stumpf at the low, low price of $25,000. The Phillies could also negotiate a trade to permanently acquire his rights, although I’d guess the odds of that are pretty slim. The Phillies now have just one lefty in the bullpen, and if the Phillies’ brass thought Stumpf could be something, they likely would have let him play out the season. However, this may have been a move to allow the rehabbing Aaron Altherr a spot on the 40-man roster.
For every Odubel Herrera, there are several Stumpfs. Such is the nature of the Rule 5 draft.