Openly, the Phillies had hoped they would be able to sneak Tommy Joseph through waivers, but privately, they probably realized that: 1) that might not happen and 2) even if they did, he wasn’t in their long-term plans.
The Rangers were awarded the waiver claim on Joseph today and added him to their 40-man roster at the expense of right-hander Clayton Blackburn, who was placed on the 60-day DL. There isn’t an obvious starting spot for Joseph with the Rangers with Shin-Soo Choo holding down the DH spot and Joey Gallo playing at first base for Texas. Both players are left-handed batters, so Joseph will give manager Jeff Banister a right-handed bat to add to the mix.
Choo actually had better splits against lefties (.287/.400/.352) than against righties (.254/.344/.443) last season, but his power numbers were much better against right-handers with 21 of his 22 home runs coming against righties. In his career, 140 of his 168 home runs have been against righties and he has put up better split numbers against right-handers (.291/.393/.491 vs RHP and .247/.345/.355 vs LHP).
Gallo’s numbers were much the same last season with 34 of his 41 dingers against righties, but he had a slash line of .204/.324/.554 vs righties and .226/.359/.481 vs LHP. In his 275 major league games, he has hit pitchers evenly with a career .202 average against righties and a .199 against southpaws. 39 of his 48 career home runs have been against right-handers.
Gallo is just 24 years old, while Choo will turn 36 in July.
Joseph, 26, has shown better power versus right-handed pitchers in his career (29 HR vs RHP, 14 HR vs LHP), but his slash lines are pretty close. Against righties, he’s hit .250/.292/.456 and is a career .239/.308/.473 hitter against lefties. Last season though, he did hit .251 against lefties and just .211 against righties with 15 of his 22 home runs coming against right-handers.
The Phillies designated Joseph for assignment when they signed pitcher Jake Arrieta and needed to open a spot on the 40-man roster.