It's a little unusual for a team to cut a Rule 5 player loose this late in the season. After all, if you've come this far with them, why not go the rest of the way. In the case of the Phillies and Daniel Stumpf though, the team has seen enough. Stumpf returned from an 80-game suspension handed out for testing positive in a league mandated drug test just before the all-star break and has been simply horrible since. In his four games since returning, Stumpf has posted a 6.23 ERA, giving up eight hits and three earned runs in 4 1/3 innings of work. Prior to the suspension, he had pitched just 2/3 of an inning and allowed three earned runs.
Stumpf was designated for assignment on Friday. The Phillies now have ten days to either trade Stumpf or put him through waivers. If he clears waivers, he would have to be offered back to the Kansas City Royals, the team that he was taken from in the Rule 5 Draft last December. If he is traded, the team he would be dealt to would have to keep him on the major league roster for the rest of the season to fulfill the Rule 5 obligation. Another potential scenario is that the Royals would take him back and then trade him to Philadelphia, effectively voiding his Rule 5 status and allowing the Phillies to send him to the minors.
To take Stumpf's roster spot, the Phillies have recalled reliever Severino Gonzalez from Lehigh Valley. The 23-year old right-hander was 0-1, 3.38 in 11 games with the Phillies earlier this season and went 0-1, 3.31 in 15 games - including one start - with the IronPigs. Gonzalez also pitched in six games with Double-A Reading and was 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA.
Gonzalez made his major league debut with Philadelphia on April 28, 2015 against the St. Louis Cardinals, throwing 2 2/3 innings and allowing 10 hits, two walks and seven earned runs in a start. In seven starts with the Phillies last season, Gonzalez had a 7.92 ERA, prior to being converted to a reliever this season.
The Phillies open a three-game series in Pittsburgh tonight.