When the Phillies brought back J.C. Romero, somebody had to go from the 40-man roster. It seemed likely that Brian Bocock was likely to go, but that was not the case as Ruben Amaro let left-handed reliever Sergio Escalona go. In the next 10 days, he’ll either be released, traded, or put on waivers.
The Philliies now have just three left-handed relievers on the 40-man roster: Romero, Mike Zagurski and Antonio Bastardo. Zagurski figures to play 2011 in Lehigh Valley while the other two will be with the big club. Even if one of them gets injured, it’s unlikely Amaro would be comfortable going to Zagurski and his 22 runs in the 28.1 ML innings he’s logged.
That’s why the Escalona move is a bit surprising. The 26-year-old bounced around quite a lot in 2009, moving from Reading to Lehigh Valley to Philadelphia and back, but remained in Double-A for 2010. It seemed unlikely that he’d ever have back of the bullpen stuff, but lefties batted just .174 against him last season, so a situational lefty is hardly out of the realm of possibility.
We’ll see over the next week or so what happens with Escalona. It’d be nice to have him back for insurance purposes if he clears waivers.