The latest batch includes six returning players, including veteran outfielder Jim Rushford and left-hander Brian Mazone.
As reported on Baseball America’s transaction update, the Phillies signed 1B/2b John Urick (’06 Low-A Lakewood); 2b/3b Joey Hammond (’06 Double-A Reading); 3b Brennan King (’06 Triple-A Scranton); LHP Brian Mazone (’06 Triple-A Scranton); OF Jim Rushford (’06 Triple-A Scranton); OF Pedro Swann (’06 Triple-A Scranton) and OF Evan Tartaglia (’06 High-A Winston-Salem).
Beerleaguer: Besides Rushford’s dedication (this will be his fourth season with the organization), Mazone is perhaps the only player of note. The 30-year-old left-hander finished 13-3, 2.03 ERA with Triple-A Scranton and was scheduled to make an emergency start with the big club back on Sept. 6, an opportunity that eventually fell through at the last minute.
Primarily a junkball pitcher who changes speeds, Mazone had a superb season for the Barons, including 85 strikeouts to 36 walks. He also kept the ball in the park, giving up just six home runs in 20 starts. Pitching this fall in the Venezuelan League, he is 1-1 with a 6.46 ERA over 15 1-3 innings.
Besides Mazone, the rest have been retained due to lack of position depth, if for no other reason. Swann is a 36-year-old Delaware product who’s been all over the map, including Ottawa, where he is likely to return again in 2007. King is a 25-year-old third baseman who had a decent year with Scranton. Tartaglia is the only new acquisition and appears to be a slashing castoff from the White Sox system.