Zambrano throws best game yet in comeback bid

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Zambrano throws best game yet in comeback bid

Carlos Zambrano's chances of joining the Phillies may have increased after Tuesday night's successful start for Triple A Lehigh Valley.

In arguably his best outing in his major-league comeback attempt, Zambrano tossed seven shutout innings and allowed just five hits and a walk while striking out six in the IronPigs' 3-0 win at Toledo. Of his 108 pitches thrown, 73 were for strikes.

Ruben Amaro Jr. said just two days ago after Zambrano's fourth minor-league start that he was not yet ready to pitch in the big leagues.

“Not based on what I saw his last outing, not in my mind,” Amaro said Sunday. “I’d like to see him pitch again [in the minors]. We’ll keep a close eye on his starts and how effective he is. But he’s not ready yet in my mind.”

The 32-year-old struggled with command his last time out -- also with Lehigh Valley -- walking four men in just five innings while also giving up four hits and two runs. Before Tuesday night, he had doled out 11 free passes in 21 1/3 innings.

The Phillies have until July 1 to promote Zambrano to the majors, or the right-hander can opt out of his deal with the club. The Phillies signed him in mid-May to add depth to a depleted rotation.

Zambrano has stated he wants to be a starting pitcher, citing his struggles as a reliever in the Marlins' bullpen last year, when he allowed eight runs, eight walks and 23 hits in 17 1/3 innings of work. Overall in 2012, Zambrano went 7-10 with a 4.49 ERA but had a career-worst 1.27 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 35 games (20 starts).

Phillies tender contracts to 3 players as Cody Asche becomes free agent

Phillies tender contracts to 3 players as Cody Asche becomes free agent

The Phillies tendered contracts to three arbitration-eligible players on Friday night and set another free.
 
Reliever Jeanmar Gomez and infielders Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis were tendered contracts for the 2017 season while outfielder Cody Asche was let go after four seasons with the club. 
 
The Phillies signaled their intention to let Asche go when they designated him for assignment, a move that removed him from the 40-man roster, on Friday afternoon. The club had the option of trading Asche — and likely had discussions with other clubs — but ultimately decided to non-tender him before the 8 p.m. deadline. The move made Asche a free agent.
 
The Phils had removed Asche from the 40-man roster to clear a spot for David Rollins, a left-handed reliever who was claimed off waivers from Texas on Friday (see story)
 
Galvis and Hernandez, the team’s regular shortstop and second baseman, respectively, were certain to receive contracts for 2017. Gomez was less certain. He saved 37 games for the Phils in 2016, but struggled badly late in the season.
 
Phillies officials will try to negotiate 2017 salaries with all three players. If an agreement cannot be reached with a player, an arbitration hearing will be held later in the winter to determine that player’s salary for the coming season.
 
Gomez made $1.4 million in 2016, Galvis $2 million and Hernandez $525,000. According to mlbtraderumors.com, Gomez projects to make $4.6 million in arbitration, Galvis $4.4 million and Hernandez $2.5 million. 

The Phillies' roster is full at 40.

Phillies DFA OF Cody Asche, claim LHP David Rollins off waivers

Phillies DFA OF Cody Asche, claim LHP David Rollins off waivers

Cody Asche's time with the Phillies has come to an end.

The Phillies claimed LHP David Rollins off waivers from the Texas Rangers on Friday. To make room on the 40-man roster, Asche was designated for assignment. The Phillies had until 8 p.m. on Friday to tender a contract to the outfielder, but they instead chose to free up the roster spot for Rollins.

Asche played four seasons with the Phillies from 2013-16 after he was drafted in the fourth round in 2011. The St. Charles, Mo. native had a .213/.284/.350 batting line this past season over 71 games. His best season with the Phillies came as their starting third baseman in 2014, hitting 10 home runs and driving home 46 runs in 121 games.

Rollins has been on four different rosters this offseason. He pitched 31 games in relief for the Seattle Mariners over the last two seasons, sporting a 7.60 ERA over 34 1/3 innings. He was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs 15 days after the World Series and then subsequently claimed again by the Rangers. 

Rollins was a 24th round draft pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2011 MLB Draft and was traded a year later to the Houston Astros. Prior to the 2015 season, the Mariners picked Rollins in the Rule 5 draft after the Astros chose not to protect him.