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The Phillies announced Friday that they’ve designated right-handed reliever Ian Hamilton for assignment. His spot on the 40-man roster will go to catcher J.T. Realmuto, whose record-setting five-year deal with the Phils has now been formally announced.
Hamilton, 25, was a waiver claim out of the White Sox organization who’d been expected to compete for a bullpen job in Spring Training. He could still do so, but in order for that to happen he’d need to go unclaimed on waivers and come to camp as a non-roster invitee.
An eleventh-round pick back in 2016, Hamilton has appeared briefly in the Majors with the South Siders in two of the past three seasons, allowing a combined six runs on ten thits and seven walks with nine strikeouts in a dozen innings. He’s averaged 95.7 mph on a four-seamer that he complements with a slider and a very seldom-used changeup.
Hamilton had a particularly strong showing between Double-A and Triple-A in 2018, and throughout his minor league career as a whole, he’s posted better-than-average strikeout and walk rates (26.3 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively). He still has a minor league option remaining, so it’s feasible that a bullpen-needy team could take a low-risk flier now that the Phils have bumped him from the roster. He’ll have a week to be traded, placed on waivers or released.