By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Editor
The Philadelphia Phillies announced a series of roster moves on Saturday afternoon. Pitcher Ranger Suarez and infielder Johan Camargo have been activated from the injured list. In a corresponding move, pitcher Mark Appel and outfielder Mickey Moniak have been optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Suarez will start on Saturday against the Marlins and Camargo will be available off the bench.
Camargo has been out of the lineup since June 29 due to a right knee strain. The injury forced Camargo to the injured list twice in the month of June. Prior to the injury, Camargo was hitting a paltry .230 with 3 HRs, 18 RBIs, a .296 OBP, and a .613 OPS. The 28-year old slashed .291/.349/.410 with a .719 OP in his ten rehab games. Weak hitting aside, Camargo’s return is welcome news for the Phillies infield.
Suarez missed his last turn in the rotation due to lower back spasms. The 26-year old is 6-5 with a 4.33 ERA, 64 Ks, and a 1.46 WHIP in 15-starts this season for the Phillies. Suarez went 6.2 IP and allowed 6 H, 4 R/ER, and 7 Ks in his last outing, a loss, on June 29 against the Braves.
As for the pair optioned to Triple-A, Moniak comes as no real surprise. The former first-overall pick has struggled in every aspect of the game at the Major League level. His slash line is just brutal, .130/.184/.152 with a .386 OPS and 2 RBIs in 93 at-bats this season. Those stats are worse than some pitchers back when hurlers actually had to pick up a bat in the National League. Moniak has firmly entrenched himself in the “draft bust” category.
The decision to send Appel down makes sense from a roster move standpoint however doesn’t make sense from a baseball standpoint. Other options should’ve been considered, such as DFA’ing Jeurys Familia, before sending Appel back to the ‘Pigs.
The former number one overall pick appeared in four games for the Phillies aftering being called up in early-July and pitched rather well. Appel registered a 1.29 ERA with 3 Ks, 2 BBs, and a 1.14 WHIP in seven innings. He showed the ability to pitch at the Major League level and certainly deserves another opportunity to contribute to the resurgent Phillies bullpen.