The Phillies have announced a major shake-up.
Greg Dobbs, a bench fixture with the Phillies since 2007, has been designated for assignment after hitting .152 in 66 at bats. His 45 career pinch hits place him fifth on the Phillies' all-time list, but he had just one in 2010. The 31-year-old started 11 games this season: nine at third, one in right and one as a DH. Dobbs signed a two-year, $2.5 million contract after the 2008 World Series, a year in which he led the majors with a franchise-high 22 pinch-hits. Meanwhile, Jimmy Rollins has been activated from the disabled list, while Carlos Ruiz, who sustained a head injury in Friday night's game, goes on the DL. In another surprise move, left-hander Mike Zagurski, who was already on the 40-man roster, has been recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to fill the vacancy in the bullpen. Zagurski, who last appeared with the Phillies in 2007 before Tommy John surgery derailed his career, was 0-2 with a 2.35 ERA and solid 45/13 K/BB ratio in 30 2-3 innings at Lehigh Valley. Scott Mathieson, who was placed on optional waivers Saturday, has been optioned to Triple-A.
Beerleaguer: What can you say about Dobbs? There was nothing there, and all the rust was making him obsolete in the field. If he clears, and I think he will since better players are available, he could try to find his footing again at Triple-A and become a serviceable component for the Phillies in September. In other words, it's better to offer Dobbs a minor league assignment than Juan Castro since Dobbs could actually improve and fill a need later on, where Casto will always be bad. But if they lose him, it's no great loss.
Still, here's your bench: Wilson Valdez, Castro, Ross Gload, Dane Sardinha and Ben Francisco. Without looking, it's the worst in the league. Say what you want about Dobbs, be Dobbs and Gload were the only two who've experienced any real success in this role. So this decision probably didn't come easy.
The other story here is the return of Zagurski, following Mathieson as another guy who made it back from Tommy John. And his season has completely slipped under the Beerleaguer radar. You know he hasn't given up a run since April?