Phillies protect four from Rule 5 Draft

Trevor May

Tuesday was the deadline for teams to add players to their 40-man roster to provide protection from the Rule 5 Draft, which takes place in a couple of weeks during the Winter Meetings. In addition to who was protected, there are a couple of interesting names who were not protected.

Technically, the Phillies had room to add six prospects to their 40-man roster, but chose to add just four of their top prospects. Pitchers Trevor May, Jonathan Pettibone and Ethan Martin, along with outfielder Zach Collier were placed on the Phillies 40-man roster Tuesday.

Adding the three pitchers was pretty much a given as any of the three would have been likely to have been taken in the Rule 5 Draft had they not been protected. Zach Collier's addition isn't a complete surprise either, especially considering his performance in the Arizona Fall League. Prior to the AFL, Collier may have been on the bubble, but likely would have garnered protection even without his AFL numbers.

Of those that weren't protected, 22-year old right-hander Julio Rodriguez stands out. Rodriguez was an eighth round pick in the 2008 Draft and spent the entire 2012 season with AA Reading, posting a 7-7, 4.23 mark in 29 games, 22 of which were starts. While it was considered a down year for Rodriguez, who came into the season with a career minor league ERA of 2.87, it's likely that Rodriguez will just need more time to adjust to hitters at the AA level and he is still considered a solid prospect in the Phillies organization. The Puerto Rico Baseball Academy graduate seemed to hit a wall in the second-half of the season, with his ERA ballooning to 5.96 for July and August.

Among position players who were not protected, the name Leandro Castro jumps out. Castro put up nice numbers (10-71-.287/.316/.427) in his first season at Reading.

Jiwan James, who is possibly best known for an amazing leaping catch that he made last season at Reading, also was left unprotected. James had career lows in average (.249), on-base percentage (.291) and slugging percentage (.360) in 2012. Like Rodriguez, it's likely that James may just need more time to adjust at AA.

For a full list of players who were left unprotected by the Phillies, check out our list of Rule 5 Eligible Players.


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