ST. PETERSBURG — In upgrading to a centerfielder they count on to supply extra offense by buying Jose Siri from Houston, the Rays on Monday parted methods with Seminole native and fan favourite Brett Phillips to make room.
Siri, 27, is a right-handed hitter who is taken into account an elite defender however has struggled on the plate, hitting .178 with three homers, 10 RBIs and a .542 OPS in 48 video games whereas splitting time between the Astros and their Triple- A staff after making the opening-day roster.
The Rays bought Siri as a part of a three-way trade with Houston and Baltimore, giving up two pitching prospects. Right-hander Seth Johnson, who was ranked the Rays’ No. 6 prospect by mlb.com and is ready to endure Tommy John surgical procedure, is headed to the Orioles. Right-hander Jayden Murray, who was unranked however having a strong season (8-2, 2.83) at Double-A Montgomery, was despatched to the Astros.
Phillips, 28, is also an elite defender who has struggled offensively, hitting .147 with 5 homers, 14 RBIs and a .514 OPS in 75 video games. He was designated for task, which means he will likely be traded or uncovered to waivers.
In a video posted on Twitter, the sometimes upbeat Phillips stated, “It’s been an absolute pleasure and honor to play for my hometown staff. (Being DFA’d) sucks, however everyone knows enterprise is enterprise. I’m going to mud myself off and maintain transferring ahead. But I recognize every and everybody of y’all for the help the final couple years. We’ve had a heck of a time.”
Phillips’ largest second on the sector with the Rays was when he delivered the hit that led to the wild walkoff win over the Dodgers in Game 4 of the 2020 World Series, adopted by his airplane run by the outfield and breathless community TV interview, when he uttered the phrase he changed into a T-shirt line: “Baseball is enjoyable.”
But he’s identified for rather more, such because the fixed encouragement he supplies teammates, his limitless positivity and the enjoyment with which he performs the sport. He has made spotlight reels along with his acrobatic protection, entertaining work on the mound as an occasional pitcher, and his humorous interviews. Saturday, Phillips was within the highlight because the staff gave out Devil Rays basketball jerseys along with his title and quantity, modeled after the one he wore on his 4th birthday.
He additionally was concerned in one of many season’s most poignant moments, hitting a house run in honor of Chloe Grimes, an 8-year-old woman battling most cancers who had thrown out the primary pitch for the April 12 sport and regarded him her favourite participant .
In his video message, Phillips additionally requested followers to proceed to help the Rays and develop the fan base, including, “Until subsequent time, and always remember, baseball is enjoyable, child. God Bless.”
Siri got here up by the Reds’ system, taking part in seven seasons within the minors earlier than being claimed twice off waivers — by the Mariners and Giants — earlier than the 2020 season was disrupted by COVID-19. He signed with the Astros in December 2020 and spent most of 2021 at Triple-A earlier than making his big-league debut in September.
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In 69 big-league video games, Siri has hit .210 with seven homers, 19 RBIs and a .647 OPS whereas stealing 9 bases.
In dropping Phillips, the Rays determined to maintain switch-hitting Roman Quinn, who was signed in the course of the All-Star break and is hitting .263 in 9 video games with an .807 OPS.
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