Phillies Hopeful of Mach & Freeman Returning

Phillies Minor League Director Steve Noworyta says the Phillies haven't closed the door on Tyler Mach and Jarrod Freeman. Plus, he talks about Zack Segovia's progress from off-season surgery and why he's not on a minor league roster.

Steve Noworyta, the Phillies Minor League Director, remains hopeful that prospects Tyler Mach and Jarrod Freeman will return to the Phillies at some point this season. "Right now, with Jarrod and Tyler, there are both some personal issues," explained Noworyta, but stressed that the Phillies keep the door open for both to return. "It's something that they've both got to work through."

Both Mach and Freeman were no-shows when camp opened and neither showed up in camp throughout the spring. The Phillies drafted Mach in the fourth round last June and he hit .287 at Williamsport. Freeman has played two seasons in the minors going 3-7 with a 4.27 ERA and had initially told the Phillies that he was looking into continuing his college education rather than continuing his professional baseball career. Both players were on the Philly Baseball News list of the Top 75 Prospects in the Phillies organization, with Freeman ranking 47th and Mach ranking 20th.

"Once they settle down and figure out what they want to do, we've got the door open for them and they can come back," stressed Noworyta.

On another issue, Noworyta said the Phillies continue to work with pitcher Zack Segovia, who is coming off shoulder surgery. Segovia stayed behind in extended camp rather than starting the season at either Lehigh Valley or Reading and it's likely that he'll spend another couple of weeks there before heading out for an assignment. "He didn't have the velocity that he had last season, so we just want to be sure that he gets that arm strength back," said Noworyta. The Phillies had hoped that Segovia would be healthy enough to start the season after having surgery to clear an impingement in his shoulder, but Noworyta isn't worried, stressing that the news on the right-hander is generally pretty good. "He says his shoulder feels better than it ever has," said Noworyta. "When a player has that mental approach, it's pretty easy and it comes down to just getting that arm strength back."

Noworyta was in attendance in Reading Tuesday night for the exhibition game between the Phillies Triple-A Lehigh Valley affiliate and the Double-A Reading Phillies. He stressed how nice it is for the organization to have their minor league clubs close to Philadelphia. "It's great to have them that close and to get to see them both right before the season starts," said Noworyta. The two teams are both about an hour away from each other and just about an hour away from Philadelphia. "It's especially nice, because if Charlie [Manuel] decides that he needs a player at five o'clock, we can have him in Philly by game time."

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