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Phillies trade away another struggling catcher in deal with Rockies

In recent weeks, the Phillies have been busy unloading failing catchers, and the newest casualty is a low levels backstop.

The Phillies made an early move to begin July, even though the trade deadline is only a few short weeks away. Simply put, this isn’t the deal that fans of the Phillies have been waiting for.


Phillies and Rockies part ways with another failing catcher.

Jorge Mendez, catcher with the Phillies, was transferred to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for cash. Mendez’s MiLB player page states that the agreement was signed on June 29. On Monday, he was assigned to the Arizona Complex League affiliate of the Rockies.

It’s okay if you haven’t heard the name; not much has been missed. Mendez, a Venezuelan native, played two seasons with the Phillies’ affiliate in the Dominican Summer League after signing a contract with the team in 2021 at the age of 17.

Although he had been playing with the Florida Complex League Phillies for two seasons running, the 20-year-old backstop had not improved much from his first stint in 2023.

Mendez blasted.214/.290/.321 with two RBI and a home run in 11 games for the FCL Phillies. Although his batting average isn’t all that different from his.217 total from the previous season, his on-base and slugging percentages declined, falling from.367 and.370, respectively.

The most concerning alteration in Mendez’s play this season is the reversal in his walk and strikeout percentages. He walked at an 11.7 percent clip the previous season, but this season he walked at a 3.2 percent clip early on. In 2023, his strikeout percentage was only 1.7 percent; however, this year, it increased to 16.1 percent.

The 5-foot-9 right-handed hitter may have been attempting to hit for more power, which has resulted in more strikeouts, but the adjustment hasn’t increased output.

In as many weeks, the Phillies have traded for two struggling catchers, including this one. William Simoneit, a double-A/triple-A catcher, was sold to the Chicago Cubs on June 18 in exchange for cash.

Latest proposed Phillies trade for Luis Robert Jr. includes a massive prospect haul

In what appears to be a dangerous and expensive move, the Phillies send four prospects ranked in the Top 30 to the White Sox.

Star outfielder Luis Robert Jr. of the Chicago White Sox is one of the hottest commodities for the impending July 30 trade deadline, and he would be a great addition to any team that is in the running, including the Philadelphia Phillies. However, one thing is for sure: in terms of prospect capital, the asking price for such a young, emerging star will be enormous.

Though it would be bad for the future, Bleacher Report had previously suggested a trade that included less Phillies prospects. Top players like Aidan Miller (No. 2) and Justin Crawford (No. 4) that fans won’t want to see transferred were included in the mock deal.

The Phillies’ most recent proposed deal for Luis Robert Jr. features an enormous collection of prospects.

The newest potential deal between the Phillies and the White Sox, as suggested by Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report, would give Chicago access to a wealth of talent from the Phillies farm system.

Robert and reliever John Brebbia would go to the Phillies in exchange for pitcher Mick Abel (No. 3), shortstop Starlyn Caba (No. 5), catcher Eduardo Tait (No. 8), and pitcher Samuel Aldegheri (No. 23) going to the White Sox.

Three of the Phillies’ Top 10 prospects and an overachieving star are traded in the trade for Robert, with Brebbia acting more like a throw-in. Although Robert is excellent, is he so good that Philadelphia should dump a sizable portion of their best prospects at once?

After all, Robert has had a difficult season thus far in 2024, missing nearly two months because of a right hip flexor strain. In his 111 at-bats, he has struck out 42 times, resulting in a meager.207 batting average and a.285 on-base percentage when he has played.

Despite this, he has continued to be effective, scoring 18 runs, hitting nine home runs, and collecting 13 RBI in 30 games. Given his career.274 batting average, Robert can be a 30-plus home run and 90-plus RBI hitter when healthy and at peak form. The important point was that, thus far in his MLB career, the 26-year-old has struggled to maintain his health while playing for the White Sox.


Would the Phillies give up so many prospects for nothing?

Abel, who is expected to start at first base for the Phillies going forward, hasn’t had a great 2024 campaign thus far. In 59 2/3 innings pitched, he has a dismal 2-7 record, a 6.79 ERA, a 1.83 WHIP, 43 walks, and 54 strikeouts. Nevertheless, if he can resolve his issues, he still has potential.

Regarding Caba, he has demonstrated his exceptional speed and plate discipline while playing for the FCL Phillies this season. With just 35 games played, the 18-year-old has already scored 28 stolen bases, walked 37 times, and struck out just 24 times. Although his hitting and power are still developing, the peripherals have shown promise.

For the FCL Phillies in June, Tait has been explosive. After a recent uptick, he has elevated his season average to a respectable.284 with an.843 OPS, eight doubles, five home runs, and thirty-five RBI in 35 games. He undoubtedly possesses every quality and skill needed to succeed as the Phillies’ catcher in the future.

At the High-A level, Aldegheri has been absolutely dominating hitters, striking out an astounding 83 batters in just 59 innings of work. He also has a solid 2.75 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. With the Jersey Shore BlueClaws, in 11 starts.

It might all be worthwhile in the end if Robert turns out to be the Phillies’ lone missing piece in their World Series victory. Let’s say, however, that his persistent injury problems carry on, hindering his performance as a whole, as demonstrated this season.The Phillies might not be best served by blowing a large portion of their bright future on an injury-prone star in that scenario, given the high cost involved.