The Phillies have placed catcher Brian Schneider on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring. Schneider was hitting .225/.289/.348 with 2 HRs serving as both Carlos Ruiz and, now, Erik Kratz‘s back-up. In what may be the surprise transaction of the year, Steven Lerud‘s contract has been purchased from Double-A Reading to take his place on the 25-man active roster. Lerud is the first player since Vance Worley in 2010 to be selected directly from Reading and is the second 2012 R-Phil that started the year in Reading that is now with the club.
Analysis: Lerud’s promotion is somewhat shocking. Lerud is hitting only .235/.350/.304 with 0 HR in only 120 PA for Reading, is one year removed from hitting .193/.268/.303 for the Orioles’ Double-A affiliate in 2011, and has only 28 career Triple-A plate appearances. Sebastian Valle, currently hitting .245/.269/.469 with 3 HR in 52 PA since being promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, was an Eastern League All-Star for Reading and is already on the 40-man roster. It is surprising that Valle was seemingly skipped over for Lerud, although, Lerud would likely clear waivers if they were to outright him to the minors at the completion of the season.
Lerud’s departure does guarantee every day playing time to two players at two different levels: with the big club, Erik Kratz, the second best hitter in baseball with at least 50 PA, will have 15 days of the plate likely to himself unless Valle is called up once the rosters expand and Tommy Joseph will be guaranteed to continue to get everyday playing time in Reading. Joseph is hitting .232/.325/.333 since joining the R-Phils with just 1 HR. Valle is a dark-horse candidate to receive playing time in September with the Phils; in his last 10 with the ‘Pigs, Valle is hitting .333/.344/.600 with 2 2B and 2 HR.