The 2018 Baseball Winter Meetings™ will be held Dec. 9-13, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The morning of the last day of the Meetings is always reserved for the Rule Five Draft. The Phillies finalized their 40-man roster on November 18th last year to protect certain minor league prospects from Rule Five. Read HERE.
Right now, the Phillies appear to be using the Arizona Fall League and Caribbean Winter Leagues to decide which players they will place on the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. The best I can tell this would include the likes of pitchers Tyler Viza, Luke Leftwich and Seth McGarry and infielder Arquimedes Gamboa playing in the AFL; pitchers Gustavo Armas, Alejandro Requena and Luis Carrasco playing in Venezuela Winter League; and pitchers Tyler Gilbert, middle infielder Malquin Canelo and catchers Austin Bossart and Deivi Grullen playing in the Dominican Winter League.
After a slow start, Gamboa has been on fire for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the AFL. Yesterday, he won the game in the tenth inning with a two-run double. He is now 7 for 17 with 5 walks in his last six games. Gamboa hit .261 in the first half but only .163 in the second half last season with the Clearwater Threshers. Watch HERE, a double he hit in an Instructs game before he left for the AFL.
Both Luke Leftwich and Seth McGarry in relief and Tyler Viza in two starts have pitched shutout ball in the AFL. Leftwich has allowed only three hits in 5.2 innings, striking out 8 while McGarry has given up five hits in 5.1 innings, striking out 9. Viza has made two starts, pitching 7.1 innings but struck out only two.
Luis Carrasco has been putting up some interesting numbers. He was dominating in two middle relief appearances in the Sally League Playoffs. He threw 4.2 innings of one-hit, no-run ball, striking out five. His fast ball was tracked in the high 90’s on the hot MiLB- TV pitch speed gun and one-time the gun even flashed 100 mph. In his one appearance in the VWL, he pitched 2.2 innings of shutout ball allowing only one hit and striking out four.
Catcher Deivi Grullon is now in his sixth season in the Phillies organization and led all Eastern League catchers in homers with 21. He liked hitting in Reading in 2018 where he hit 14 of his home runs and had an OPS of .882.
Over the next four weeks it will be interesting to see who the Phillies will add to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. Look for lots of movement coming and going on the 40-man once the World Series is over.