PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Hoping to bolster a beleaguered bullpen, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired hard-throwing right-hander Francisco Rosario from Toronto for cash on Thursday.
Rosario was 1-2 with a 6.65 ERA in 17 games with the Blue Jays last year. The 26-year-old Rosario was 20-26 with a 3.38 ERA in 148 games over parts of eight seasons in the minor leagues. He had 478 strikeouts in 498 2-3 innings in 148 games, including 84 starts.
“We like this guy’s arm,” general manager Pat Gillick said. “We think he has a power arm. He’s had a poor track record, but we think he turned the corner this spring. He has a lot of upside. He’s a guy we’ve watched since last season.”
Rosario was designated for assignment last Friday, meaning the Blue Jays had 10 days to trade him, send him outright to the minors or release him. The Phillies scouted Rosario throughout spring training and pursued him strongly once he became available.
Rosario had a 3.00 ERA in eight games this spring, striking out nine in nine innings. His fastball was clocked between 94-97 mph, according to Gillick.
“He was more consistent in the spring,” Gillick said. “He’s a guy we want to take a chance on.”
The Phillies will make a roster move on Friday once Rosario joins the team in Miami before a three-game series against the Marlins.
Entering the season, an inconsistent bullpen was Philadelphia’s main concern. The relievers cost the Phillies the first two games of the season against Atlanta.
Ryan Madson allowed a two-run homer to Edgar Renteria in the 10th inning of a 5-3 loss on Monday. Closer Tom Gordon allowed a tying two-run homer to Brian McCann in the ninth inning Wednesday night, and Madson gave up a solo shot to Scott Thorman in the 11th in a 3-2 loss.
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