The Phillies included just 53 players in their initial pool over the weekend, but right-hander Anthony Swarzak will soon be added as the 54th player, per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb (Twitter link). General manager Matt Klentak revealed to reporters that the Phils released and re-signed the veteran Swarzak to a new minor league contract.
Swarzak, 34, was one of many veterans in Phillies Spring Training on a non-roster deal prior to the league’s shutdown. He’ll vie for a spot on the Phillies’ expanded pitching staff after a pair of rough seasons split between the Mets, Mariners and Braves. An oblique strain in 2018 and shoulder issues in both 2018 and 2019 likely contributed to some of Swarzak’s recent struggles. Over the past two seasons, he’s pitched to a combined 5.08 ERA in 79 2/3 frames, although he’s managed to strike out more than a batter per inning in that time.
Swarzak’s results did improve following a trade from Seattle to Atlanta last year, as he gave the Braves 39 2/3 innings of 4.31 ERA ball — albeit with shakier peripherals. Consistency has been an issue for Swarzak throughout his career, but he’s had his share of success in the big leagues. He was a multi-inning bullpen workhorse for the Twins back in 2013 (2.91 ERA, 3.28 FIP in 96 innings of relief) and was a dominant setup man for the ChiSox and Brewers as recently as 2017 (2.33 ERA, 2.74 FIP, 91-to-22 K/BB ratio in 77 2/3 frames).