PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 29: Relief pitcher David Herndon #57 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park on April 29, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cubs won 5-1. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
While we spent the last couple weeks talking about some of the bigger moves that the Phillies could do this off-season, they made two small moves on Tuesday that might (or might not) mean much of anything.
First, relief pitcher David Herndon was claimed off of waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays. The right-hander was taken in the Rule 5 draft from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2009.
He's had a moderate amount of success in three seasons with the Phillies, with a 3.85 ERA in 97 games. His 2012 season was cut short due to an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. The 27-year-old was not a dominant pitcher (with 5.8 K/9), but he was quite the talent when it came to generating groundballs, with just over 50% of balls in play coming via the grounder.
Although I hate to see a useful pitcher like Herndon go, his departure does help to clear up the potential logjam that would be the 2013 Phillies bullpen. With more young arms than you can shake a stick at, Herndon shouldn't be missed too much.
The Phillies also removed IF/OF Michael Martinez from the 40-man roster, and sent the 30-year-old down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Like Herndon, Martinez came to the Phillies by way of the Rule 5 draft, but unlike Herndon, he didn't really demonstrate any value.
He was capable of playing every position on the field to some degree, which is a useful talent in its own right, but when it came to offense, he was pretty much an automatic out. In two years with the Phillies, he hit .188 with five homers and a .512 OPS. He wasn't necessarily on the team for his offense, but no sense in wasting a perfectly good roster spot on a guy who can barely hit the ball out of the infield.
With Herndon and Martinez both out of the picture, it gives the Phillies a bit of breathing room on their 40-man roster. That's probably not an indication of any forthcoming moves, but it should be slightly comforting to know that they have some roster flexibility when it comes to adding players this winter.