Photo of Dylan Cozens courtesy of Cheryl Pursell.
The Phillies made two more rounds of cuts today that moved five players over to minor league camp. Prior to their game against the Pirates, three pitchers – Franklyn Kilome, Jose Taveras and Ranger Suarez – were optioned out to minor league camp. Exactly where the three will start the season isn’t yet known.
The cuts leave 55 players in major league camp with the Phillies.
Kilome, Suarez, Taveras were just added to the 40-man roster last November and now have two options remaining. Alvarez was added to the Cardinals 40-man roster in December of 2016 and Cozens was added to the Phillies 40-man roster following the 2016 season, leaving both players with one option year remaining.
The 22-year old Kilome opened last season with Clearwater and moved up to finish the season at Reading. Between the two stops, he finished with a 7-7, 2.83 ERA, making 24 starts on the season. In 126 1/3 innings, he struck out 103 hitters for an average of 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings. It’s likely that he’ll open the season back at Double-A Reading.
Suarez, 22, pitched at both Lakewood and Clearwater last season, making 14 starts with the BlueClaws and eight with Clearwater. With Lakewood, he posted a 1.59 ERA and struck out 90 batters in 85 innings and threw a complete-game shutout for the ‘Claws. At Lakewood, his ERA went up to 3.82, but he again had more strikeouts than innings pitched, with 38 Ks in 37 1/3 innings. His combined mark was 8-6 with a 2.27 ERA.
Taveras moved quickly, going from Clearwater to Reading to Lehigh Valley. The Phillies had originally planned on having Taveras spend the rest of the season with Reading, but injuries and major league call-ups created an opening at Lehigh Valley and they used Taveras to fill the spot. In his seven starts with the IronPigs, he went 3-1 with a 1.32 ERA and a WHIP of 1.00. The 24-year old figures to open the season with Lehigh Valley.
Alvarez was acquired from St. Louis last September in exchange for reliever Juan Nicasio. The 23-year old second baseman played at Double-A Springfield in the Cardinals organization last season and added seven games in the Gulf Coast League following a return from an injury. In the two stops, he hit .248/.318/.390 in 61 games.
The 23-year old Cozens spent all of last season with Lehigh Valley, which is where he’s destined to open the 2018 season. In 135 games, he produced a slash line of 27-75-.210/.301/.418 and is credited with what is believed to be the longest home run – 469 feet – in the history of the IronPigs home park, Coca-Cola Park. The Phillies initially drafted Cozens in the second round of the 2012 Draft.