Yoel Hernandez and his vaguely holiday-sounding first name was signed to a minor league deal with the Phillies, along with 10 others recently.
Balancing diligence with a need to spread fresh content over the holiday break, the following players were signed as minor league free agents recently and it’s likely you read about it elsewhere when the non-roster invitees were first announced: Right-handers Yorman Bazardo, Yoel Hernandez and Justin Pope, left-handers Jason Mackintosh and Joshua Shortslef, first baseman/outfielder Brian Stavisky and outfielders Casey Craig, Kevin Mahar, Wilkin Ruan, Mike Spidale and Rich C. Thompson.
Hernandez spun into Philadelphia through 2007’s revolving bullpen door and appeared in 17 games, his promotion coming as something of a surprise. In 2008, he pitched in the Mexican League for the Vaqueros Laguna and was named a Mid-Season All-Star. Before arm problems derailed his ascent, he was considered one of the best young arms in the Phillies’ chain.
In addition, Bazardo, who’s arguably the best name of the group in both senses of the phrase, appeared in three games with the Tigers last season and has also seen time with the Marlins. He's the owner of a 44-44 record and 4.01 ERA in 866 2-3 minor league innings, most of it as a starter with the Florida, Seattle and Detroit organizations. Mackintosh is ex-Seattle property and appeared in 11 games with the R-Phils last season. Craig is another ex-Mariner. Shortslef has been in the Bucs' organization since 2000 and has yet to appear in the majors. Mahar is a 6-5, 220-pound outfielder who appeared in seven games with the Rangers two seasons ago. In five minor league seasons, he’s a .285/.346/.456 hitter and spent time in Clearwater in '08. Pope and Spidale were with Reading in ’08, while Thompson was with Lehigh Valley. Ruan spent parts of two seasons with the Dodgers long ago and has earned paychecks in 11 minor league seasons since 1998. He's 30 and without power. Stavisky, a lefty bat with moderate pop, is a Port Allegany, Pa. product who climbed Oakland’s ladder all the way to Triple-A and was most recently with the Lancaster Barnstormers and Arkansas Travelers.