Phillies claim pitchers Luis Ortiz, Andrew Vasquez from Giants

Phillies claim 2 pitchers via waivers, remove 5 players from 40-man roster originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies added their first two new players of the offseason via waivers from the San Francisco Giants, claiming left-handed pitcher Andrew Vasquez and right-hander Luis Ortiz.

Vasquez is a 29-year-old reliever who has appeared in parts of four big-league seasons with the Twins, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Giants. He spent most of the 2022 season at Triple A, where he held left-handed hitters to a .148 batting average with no extra-base hits in 65 plate appearances. He has a 2.41 ERA with 440 strikeouts in 295⅓ minor-league innings.

Ortiz is a 27-year-old former first-round pick of the Texas Rangers. He was selected 30th overall in 2014, the same first round that produced Aaron Nola. Ortiz was taken three picks before Michael Kopech and four picks before Jack Flaherty.

Ortiz was traded twice. In 2016, he was dealt from Texas to Milwaukee with former prospect Lewis Brinson for catcher Jonathan Lucroy and reliever Jeremy Jeffress. Two trade deadlines later, he was dealt from Milwaukee to Baltimore for veteran infielder Jonathan Schoop.

Ortiz appeared in just three big-league games in 2018 and 2019 prior to this season, when he pitched well for the Giants over the final month. He allowed one run in 8⅔ innings with four appearances lasting longer than an inning.

While Vasquez and Ortiz joined the Phillies' 40-man roster, five players were removed. Infielder Yairo Muñoz and pitchers Mark Appel, Hans Crouse, Kent Emanuel and Damon Jones were placed on outright waivers. Muñoz, Emanuel and Appel can become minor-league free agents, while Crouse and Jones will remain in the organization.

A year ago at this time, the Phillies used outright waivers to part with Andrew Knapp, Ronald Torreyes, Ramon Rosso, J.D. Hammer, Travis Jankowski and (temporarily) Odubel Herrera, with all six players electing free agency.

Muñoz was one of several utilitymen the Phillies used in 2022, appearing in 29 games. Most of his playing time came during the period after Johan Camargo hurt his knee and before the Phillies acquired Edmundo Sosa from the Cardinals.

Appel is the former first overall pick originally acquired by the Phillies in the 2015 Vince Velasquez-Ken Giles trade. He was out of baseball from 2018 through 2020 before returning to the Phils' organization in 2021 and pitching his way to the majors for a brief stay this summer. He allowed two runs in 10⅓ innings in six relief appearances with the Phillies and went 6-0 with a 3.15 ERA in 40 innings at Triple A, striking out 36 and walking 17.

Crouse was the pitching prospect the Phillies acquired from the Rangers in the summer of 2021 when they traded Spencer Howard and brought back Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy. A second-round pick in 2017, Crouse actually started two games for the Phillies in '21, allowing four runs and walking seven in seven innings. Injuries limited him to just five appearances this season with Triple A Lehigh Valley and he was ineffective with a 13.14 ERA and more than two baserunners per inning.

The lefty Emanuel was one of the first players added by Dave Dombrowski an offseason ago, a waiver claim from the Astros last November 19. He spent much of the first half recovering from an elbow injury and didn't appear in a game with the Phils. He pitched to a 2.37 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 10 starts with the IronPigs.

Jones has been in the organization since 2017 and has appeared in five games the in the majors the last two seasons, walking seven in five innings. Control has been an issue for the 28-year-old lefty, who has walked 5.0 batters per nine innings in the minors.

The Phillies' 40-man roster stands at 36.

Subscribe to Phillies Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube