Frieri was released by the Phillies on Tuesday, Steve Gross of The Morning Call reports. Just a few days after assigning Frieri to minor league camp, the Phillies opted to release the veteran reliever Tuesday. Frieri hasn't recorded an ERA under 4.50 since 2013, and although he brought his ERA down to 4.63 last season, his FIP of 6.39 suggests he was bailed out by a strong Rays defense. He'll hit free agency and could be a candidate to get picked up by a team looking to add middle relief depth.
Frieri was assigned to minor league camp Friday, Paul Hagen of MLB.com reports. Frieri struggled this spring while he worked on returning to his old delivery. He will open the season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Frieri believes a mechanical adjustment will help him regain his effectiveness this season, CSN Philadelphia reports. Frieri said he has gotten away from throwing across his body the past few years while coaches were trying to correct his issues. The deception he gained from throwing across his body was part of the reason he had success in the past. He also struggled with some arm issues last season which caused his fastball velocity to drop from 94 mph to 91-92 mph. He said he feels healthy this spring. Frieri is competing for a spot in the Phillies pen this spring and will also be in the mix for closing duties if he impresses. He made his first appearance of the spring Thursday and allowed two hits, including a solo home run to Matt Duffy, while also walking a batter and striking out one.
Frieri signed a minor league contract with the Phillies on Thursday, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. The right-hander saved 60 games for the Angels from 2012-13, but he's struggled in recent seasons, bouncing from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh to Tampa Bay. Frieri thus had to settle for a minors deal this offseason, but there are incentives if he is able to eventually crack the major-league roster.
The Rays have sent veteran reliever Ernesto Frieri to Triple-A Durham after he cleared waivers, per MLBDailyDish.com. Frieri, who was designated for assignment Monday, has been struggling since last year. He has a 4.63 ERA this season.
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