Photo by Cheryl Pursell

Two players designated for assignment by the Phillies last week had their fate decided

Reliever Jimmy Cordero missed a chunk of the 2016 season with an injury. Five days ago, he and David Buchanan were both designated for assignment and now, the Phillies have decided the fate of both pitchers.

When the Phillies acquired right-hander Jimmy Cordero from Toronto for Ben Revere, he came over with a lot of promise. He routinely hit triple-digits on most pitches and looked to be like a young pitcher who would eventually work his way into the back end of the Phillies bullpen. And David Buchanan was supposed to develop into a middle of the rotation type starter in the majors.

Unfortunately, those things never happened and both were designated for assignment last Friday when the Phillies cleared room for prospects in advance of the Rule 5 Draft, set for next month. On Wednesday, the Phillies dealt Cordero to the Washington Nationals for cash or a player to be named later, which could ironically make him a teammate of Revere, who was dealt to the Nats last season. The Phillies also released Buchanan after being unable to find a workable deal to send him to another club. 

Cordero didn't debut until July 1st last season after he suffered a shoulder injury during spring training. He was able to make 18 relief appearances over the remainder of the season with the GCL Phillies, Clearwater, Reading and Lehigh Valley. The pitcher who had struck out 147 batters in 143 1/3 innings coming into last season dropped to just 19 Ks in 27 innings, with the majority of them coming against hitters in the Gulf Coast League. With Clearwater, Reading and Lehigh Valley, Cordero managed just 12 strikeouts in 18 innings and his ERA between the four stops was 5.00.

Buchanan spent parts of the 2014 and 2015 seasons with the Phillies and figured in to their plans for the club coming out of spring training. Buchanan struggled in the spring and didn't make the club out of camp and also didn't receive a call-up during the season when the Phillies decided to go with younger pitchers to fill holes in the big league pitching staff.

In 35 major league starts, Buchanan has a 5.01 ERA, with most of the damage coming in 2015 when he was battered for a 6.99 ERA in 15 starts. The season before, he looked able to fill out his potential when he posted a 3.75 ERA in 20 starts for the Phillies. Even with his struggles in 2015, the Phillies looked for Buchanan to bounce back and fill a spot in their rotation last season. Instead, the 27-year old right-hander pitched for Lehigh Valley all of last season, making 26 starts and one relief appearance, while going 10-9 with a 3.98 ERA with the 'Pigs.

The Phillies had drafted Buchanan in the seventh round of the 2010 Draft out of Georgia State University. He had been drafted the season before by the Mets, who took him in the ninth round.

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