Foundation for Philadelphia Phillies' Trade Was Laid Last Season

By Sean O'Brien
Philadelphia Phillies Michael Schwimer
Howard Smith – USA TODAY Sports

It was somewhat surprising to see Michael Schwimer in camp this spring. That’s why his trade to the Toronto Blue Jays today for Single-A first baseman Art Charles makes sense.

The Philadelphia Phillies‘ bullpen prospect refused to report to the Triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs for six days late last August. He claimed that elbow soreness caused his general ineffectiveness (1.340 WHIP, 4.46 ERA). There was even some talk of him filing a grievance against the team, which apparently never came to pass.

Everyone knows how various individuals within the modern workplace are “handled” if they challenge the wisdom of mother employer. Unless there is blatant harassment, or an undeniable workplace injury, anyone who bucks the system will be blacklisted like those writers (and other talented souls) who were accused of being socialists by the Hollywood entertainment establishment during the early part of the twentieth century.

On a more personal level, consider any co-worker you have known who repeatedly defames the boss for real, or imagined reasons. Schwimer turned himself into a marked man. However, he wasn’t released outright because general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. rightly saw some potential value in his mid-20s right arm.

After being drafted by the Phillies in the fourteenth round of the 2008 amateur draft, the Virginia native rose through the minor leagues and generated a solid 2011 Triple-A season (9-1, 1.85 ERA, 1.074 WHIP). But, the presence of other developing bullpen men and the off-season addition of two veteran right-handed relievers (Mike Adams and Chad Durbin) caused Schwimer to become fully expendable.

That’s the Hollywood backstory on how this reliever became a Blue Jay today.

Follow Sean on Twitter @SeanyOB, Facebook, Google+ and read his blog Insight.

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