The 26-year-old spent 2007 with Toronto, splitting time with Triple-A Syracuse. Picked up from the Pirates, he figures to be added for a minor league reserve role.
Olmedo, a switch hitter, appeared in 27 games for Toronto last season and made 12 starts at shortstop, hitting .216/.245/.294. Defensively, the Venezuelan has made 55 career starts at shortstop and 28 at second base and has appeared in five games at third base and one in right field. Originally signed by Cincinnati, he is a .228/.276/.293 hitter over parts of five seasons with the Reds and Blue Jays. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Phillies designated right-hander John Ennis for assignment.
Beerleaguer: I’ve been outsmarted yet again. A few months ago, I tried to predict the token fringe Venezuelan infielder who would become the next Danny Sandoval, coming up with names like Jose Castillo and Ceasar Izturis. And once again, the Phils sneak one past the goalie. As usual, Olmedo is barely recognizable and completely out of the blue.
It also makes sense. It's a smart way to divvy up roster space. Olmedo won’t challenge Eric Bruntlett for his job, but he’s probably the Phils next best defensive option after him. In this day and age, there’s no room for one-dimensional plus-defenders like this on 25-man rosters, but you definitely need them handy. He's the kind of player who makes managers and general managers sleep better at night. Overall, a veteran middle infielder is a better use of space than John Ennis, who wouldn't have helped them and awaits his next assignment.
Quote-worthy: "If you took Abraham Nunez's stem cells and grew them in a Petri dish for 26 years, you'd have Ray Olmedo. Except with less power because even the first copy fades a bit." -- Clout