By now, it was thought that Jesse Biddle would be contributing at the major league level for the Phillies. Instead, he's barely been able to contribute at the Triple-A level after injuries and control issues have sidetracked his career. The 24-year old lefty underwent Tommy John surgery in October and will miss the entire 2016 season, which makes him very much of an afterthought for the Phillies. With that in mind, and the opportunity to add another left-hander to the bullpen, the team designated Biddle for assignment, clearing a roster spot for Bobby LaFromboise.
The Phillies now have ten days to place Biddle on waivers, trade him or release him. If he were to clear waivers, which it's likely that he would, he could then be outrighted to Lehigh Valley and kept in the organization. It's unlikely that another team would claim Biddle, primarily due to the injury and subsequent surgery, and a trade is even more unlikely.
LaFromboise, 29, was claimed off waivers by the Angels on December 23rd after the Pirates had designated him for assignment. Los Angeles designated him for assignment last Monday and the Phillies were officially awarded the waiver claim Friday.
In parts of three major league seasons, LaFromboise has made 27 relief appearances with a record of 0-1 and an ERA of 3.63 with Seattle and Pittsburgh. Last season, he pitched in 11 games for Pittsburgh, posting a 1.13 ERA. He pitched 2/3 of an inning for the Pirates in the Wild Card Game in 2014, getting the Giants Brandon Crawford to ground into an inning double-play with runners on first and second in the top of the seventh in a game won by San Francisco 8-0.
LaFromboise joins a group of pitchers looking for spots on what will be a very different looking Phillies bullpen. Among other left-handers looking for spots are Elvis Araujo, Daniel Stumpf and Mario Hollands, who is returning from Tommy John surgery that he underwent last April. It's likely that Hollands won't be available to open the season, but will look to join the team at some point during the year. Non-roster lefty James Russell will also be in camp hoping to win a spot with the big league club.
Phillies GM Matt Klentak has made a point of grabbing players off the waiver wire this season in an attempt to revamp the ballclub. Outfielder Peter Bourjos and pitchers Michael Mariot, A.J. Achter and Dan Otero have all come from the waiver wire. The Phillies later DFA'd Achter to clear a roster spot for Charlie Morton, and Otero was dealt to Cleveland after he was DFA'd to clear a spot for players acquired in the Ken Giles trade with Houston.
Bobby LaFromboise - career stats