The Phillies announced on Monday that right-handed pitcher James Norwood has been designated for assignment. The team selected the contract of fellow righty Michael Kelly from Triple-A Lehigh Valley in a corresponding move.
This brings a merciful end to a miserable tenure in Philadelphia for Norwood. The 28-year-old New Yorker struggled mightily to the tune of an 8.31 ERA across 17.1 innings of work. Most fans remember him best for allowing four earned runs in 0.1 innings of work against the Mets on 5 May, sparking New York’s miraculous comeback.
Overall, Norwood did show strikeout stuff, as he punched out 22 batters this season, but he allowed far too many base runners, yielding nine walks and a whopping 24 hits. With good velocity and a decent splitter at times, Norwood might receive a shot with another club at some point, but Phillies fans are feeling grateful to see him leave the City of Brotherly Love.
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As for his replacement, this will be the first taste of big league action for 29-year-old Michael Kelly. A first round pick by the Padres way back in 2011, Kelly bounced around the minor leagues, including stops with the Orioles and Astros before landing with the Phillies this offseason.
His 5.00 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 18.0 Triple-A innings aren’t incredibly inspiring, but he does have a rock solid 13.5 K/9 to go with it. Kelly looks destined for the mop up role that Norwood is vacating, and could see only a temporary stay if top prospect Francisco Morales or red-hot 2013 number one pick Mark Appel get the call soon.