Philadelphia, PA – The Philadelphia Phillies have made significant moves at the start of the week, adding utilityman Diego Castillo via a waiver claim from the Yankees and acquiring right-handed reliever Michael Rucker from the Cubs in exchange for cash considerations.
Prior to these transactions, the Phillies had 39 players on their 40-man roster. With the addition of Castillo and Rucker, the team designated reliever Andrew Bellatti for assignment to create space on the roster.
Castillo, 26, brings versatility to the Phillies, having played in 96 games for the Pirates in 2022 and making a brief appearance with the Diamondbacks in 2023. He has shown potential at the plate, with 11 home runs and 13 doubles in 284 plate appearances, as well as a .296 career batting average in 177 games at Triple A. Castillo is also capable of playing multiple positions, with shortstop being his primary position.
Meanwhile, Rucker, who turns 30 in late April, joins the Phillies after being designated for assignment by the Cubs. He brings with him experience from 76 games with the Cubs over the past two seasons, displaying a 4.36 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 95 innings pitched. Rucker’s diverse pitching repertoire, including six different pitches, will add depth to the Phillies’ bullpen.
Importantly, the acquisition of Rucker provides flexibility as he still has one minor-league option remaining, meaning the team can send him to the minors without having to pass him through waivers.
As for Bellatti, his time with the Phillies has come to a temporary halt as he has been designated for assignment. The 2022 season saw him make a significant impact with a 3.31 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 54⅓ innings, but he faced struggles in the 2023 season, dealing with a triceps injury and splitting his appearances between Triple A and the majors, ultimately finishing with a 5.11 ERA. If no team claims him on waivers, he will become a free agent.
The Phillies’ recent roster moves demonstrate their commitment to strengthening the team and addressing areas of need as they prepare for the upcoming season.