CINCINNATI — The Phillies conceded another mistake Friday when outfielder Tyson Gillies cleared waivers and was removed from the 40-man roster.
Gillies, 25, will remain in the organization. This designation was a formality; Gillies was never close to reaching the majors. He was one of three players acquired in December 2009 from Seattle for Cliff Lee.
The Lee trade, to this point, is a total failure. Righthander J.C. Ramirez lasted 18 games in the majors with a 7.50 ERA before being jettisoned. Phillippe Aumont returned for two games earlier in the week and permitted four runs. The 25-year-old righthander's career ERA is 4.79, and he has not yet overcome mental and mechanical shortcomings.
Gillies, who was billed by assistant general manager Benny Looper as "a high-energy guy that gets on base and steals bases" at the time of the trade, has disappointed. Looper came from Seattle's system, and the Phillies cited his knowledge as important in determining which prospects to acquire.
That ability to reach base has not emerged in five seasons. Gillies' on-base percentage while in the Phillies' minor leagues is a pedestrian .316. He has 31 stolen bases in 46 attempts; various leg injuries sapped his speed burst.
Those ailments limited Gillies' developmental time. He played in 28 games in 2010, three in 2011 and 75 in 2012. He lasted a full season in 2013 with a .685 OPS. He hit .219 with a .588 OPS in 39 games at triple A this season. He was twice suspended by the organization for emotional outbursts — one aimed at a bus driver, the other at a bat rack — and was implicated in a cocaine possession felony, only for the charges to be dropped.
The Phillies have lacked capable production in center field and from its righthanded relievers. The Lee trade was supposed to fill those needs. It did not.
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