Two of the Phillies top three prospects were both reassigned to minor league camp as part of the Phillies first cuts of the spring. Both were possibilities to win spots in the starting rotation, but were not near the top of the list to break camp with the team. Pitchers Andrew Baker, Francisco Morales, Jon Duplantier, and Billy Sullivan were also reassigned to minor league camp. Pitcher James McArthur was also reassigned to minor league camp, while outfielders Simon Muzziotti, Jhailyn Ortiz, and Johan Rojas were optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
The difference in the transactions is that players who are not on the 40-man roster are reassigned as minor league players, while the team must use an option on players who are on the 40-man roster.
McGarry, 23, is most likely ticketed for Lehigh Valley where he pitched in seven games in relief late last season when the Phillies considered using him out of their major league bullpen for the stretch run. The right-hander had a 9.00 ERA in eight innings. In 19 starts and one relief appearance between Jersey Shore and Reading, McGarry was 4-6 with a 3.18 ERA.
Abel, 21, pitched at Jersey Shore and Reading last season where he went 8-11, 3.90 in 23 starts between the two teams. Only five of his starts were at Double-A, so it is likely he will return to Reading for part of the ’23 season. The Phillies took the right-hander with the 15th overall pick in the 2020 Draft out of Jesuit High School in Beaverton, Oregon.
The Phillies found McArthur in the 12th round of the 2018 Draft out of the University of Mississippi. McArthur has struggled at times in the minors, making 13 starts at Reading last season and posting a 5.05 ERA. The 6′ 7″, right-hander has made 28 starts and four relief appearances at Double-A over the past two seasons, posting a 4-12 record with a 4.73 ERA.
Duplantier signed a minor league deal with the Phillies in January and has pitched briefly in the majors for Arizona, making appearances in both 2019 and again in 2021. The 28-year-old made seven starts and 12 relief appearances with the Diamondbacks and has a career mark of 1-4, 6.70 with one save. He has been hampered by a sore hamstring and has not appeared in any spring games with the Phillies.
Sullivan is a University of Delaware product, who was drafted by the Phillies in the 28th round of the 2017 Draft. The soon to be 24-year-old reached Double-A in 2021 and spent all of last season with the Reading Fightins, appearing in 24 games with 77 strikeouts in 51 innings and a 4.59 ERA.
Muzziotti, 24, was recalled from Double-A Reading last April when Mickey Moniak went on the IL with a broken hand. Muzziotti made his MLB debut on April 11 and played in nine games with the Phillies, hitting .143 (1-for-7).
Ortiz was signed by the Phillies as an international free agent in 2015 and made his professional debut the next season. Ortiz spent last season at Double-A Reading, playing in 119 games with 17 home runs, 61 RBI and a slash line of .237/.319/.415. He played in the Arizona Fall League following the season and hit .163 with three home runs and eight RBI in 53 plate appearances.