In a surprising move, the Philadelphia Phillies have sent right-handed relief pitcher Michael Schwimer down to the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Schwimer was sent down so the Phillies could keep newly promoted reliever Phillippe Aumont on the 25-man big league roster.
Aumont was acquired in the Cliff Lee trade two offseasons ago, and the team just called him finally to see what he can do at the major league level. To make room for Aumont, the Phillies sent Schwimer down. Schwimer’s arm has been bothering and it was thought that the team might put him on the 15-day disabled list, but GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. obviously felt sending him to Triple-A was the best option.
Schwimer has a 4.46 ERA and a 4.2 walk rate this season, although there are some definite strengths in his game. He has a high strikeout rate (9.4 K/9), a low percentage of hits allowed (7.9/9), and he’s served as one of the top right-handed relievers out of the bullpen with so many pitchers (David Herndon, Michael Stutes, and Jose Contreras) injured.
After starting the year rough, Schwimer was very effective from July 2 through the middle of August, posting a 2.13 ERA, .176 opponents’ batting average allowed, and high strikeout rate (30 whiffs in 25.1 innings pitched). Schwimer has been especially effective against righties, as he has held them to just a .235 batting average for the season.
Schwimer is one of a handful of guys fighting for a spot on the major league Phillies next season, and this year was a great opportunity for him to get reps on the mound to show the team what he can do. Meanwhile, Aumont will have his chance now with Schwimer down.