The Philadelphia Phillies minor-league affiliate system will have some changes next season.
The team announced Wednesday afternoon that it invited four clubs to be part of its system in 2021 as part of the new minor-league structure.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Reading Fightin Phils will continue in their respective roles as the Phillies’ Triple-A and Double-A teams, while the lower minor leagues will be revamped.
The Jersey Shore BlueClaws, formerly the Lakewood BlueClaws, will serve as the team’s High-A affiliate, and the Clearwater Threshers will become the Low-A affiliate. The teams had previously served in the opposite capacities.
Lehigh Valley has been the team’s Triple-A affiliate since moving to Allentown in 2008, and the Fightin Phils have been the Phillies’ Double-A affiliate since 1967. Jersey Shore and Clearwater have been affiliate teams of the Phillies since 2001 and 1985, respectively.
The new minor-league structure put in place by Major League Baseball has eliminated short-season and rookie leagues. The Phillies’ former short-season club, the Williamsport Crosscutters, will no longer be affiliated with a major-league organization. It will become a team in MLB’s new league for collegiate prospects, leaving the city of Williamsport without a professional team for the first time since 1993.
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