The Phillies made a move prior to today's waiver trade deadline by dealing for Pirates Triple-A outfielder-first baseman John Bowker, who was hitting .308/.351/.487 with 15 homers for Indianapolis. The Pirates' haul has yet to be reported.
Beerleaguer: Bowker should be considered a minor addition, and just because he was added before Sept. 1 doesn't mean he's guaranteed a spot on the postseason roster. Still, the Phils are giving themselves another option if they believe Ross Gload, who has three hits in his last 30 plate appearances and no homers all season, can't contribute. Or the Phils may decide in short order that Gload and his frayed hip have had it. Expanded rosters give the Phillies flexibility and time to weigh their options and there's no question that Gload, for all his professional at bats, is basically a lost roster spot.
The addition of Bowker, a left-handed hitter, could also hurt Domonic Brown's chances of receiving a September call-up; 2011 has been a lost season for the top prospect and he's had a miserable time of it since the Hunter Pence trade bumped him back to the minors. We'll also need to see whether the Phils reward Lehigh Valley's best player, Brandon Moss, with a call-up, as discussed. Moss, 27 and a lefty bat, is hitting .268/.364/.510 with 23 homers and plays the outfield better than Bowker, who was hitting .308/.351/.487 with 15 homers after the Pirates demoted him at the end of April after htting .235/.316/.294 in 19 plate appearances.
In parts of four seasons with the Giants and Pirates, Bowker, 28, is a .237/.289/.390 hitter with 17 homers, his best season coming in his rookie season with the Giants (.708 OPS). He's considered a below-average defender better suited for first base although Gload, even in his state of deterioration, might be considered the better first baseman. Bowker is out of options and cleared waivers in order to be sent to the minors in April. He could already be in the running for Gload's job as primary pinch hitter next season; Gload is a free agent.
To make room on the 25-man roster, the Phillies optioned right-hander Michael Schwimer to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Schwimer pitched a scoreless ninth in Tuesday's 9-0 thumping of the Reds and is likely to return later in September.