Tom Eshelman, the Phillies’ minor-league pitcher of the year just two seasons ago, was traded Monday morning to Baltimore for additional spending money on the international free-agent market.
Eshelman, who will turn 25 this month, started last season on the brink of the majors after a terrific 2017. But he struggled in 2018 and had a 5.84 ERA for triple-A Lehigh Valley. The right-hander was left unprotected last winter in the Rule 5 draft and started the season in extended spring training, because the Phillies did not have a rotation spot for him in the minor leagues.
He returned to triple A last month and posted a 2.77 ERA in four starts. His final start in the Phillies system was an eight-inning complete game Friday.
Eshelman is a command-oriented starter who has walked just 107 batters in 476 minor-league innings. He was the Paul Owens Award winner in 2017 after posting a 2.40 ERA in 23 starts between double A and triple A. The Phillies had acquired Eshelman in December 2015 as part of the trade that sent Ken Giles to Houston.