Appel said in an interview with Joon Lee of Bleacher Report that he is taking an "indefinite break" from professional baseball.
Selected by the Astros with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 first-year player draft, Appel was expected to be a centerpiece of Houston's rebuild and require only limited time in the minors before fronting the big club's rotation. Instead, Appel was hit hard in his first exposure to professional baseball and only saw his command and control worsen over the subsequent four seasons while never rising above the Triple-A level, with a trade to the Phillies in December 2015 doing little to improve his outlook. The Phillies were expected to transition Appel to a bullpen role this spring after shoulder inflammation cut short his 2017 campaign, but the 26-year-old decided walking away from the game was in his best interest at this time. If Appel declines to resume his baseball career, he'll become only the third No. 1 overall pick never to reach the majors.
Appel was outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Monday.
Appel, who was designated for assignment by the Phillies last week, will report to Lehigh Valley after passing through waivers untouched. The former No. 1 overall pick in 2013 has struggled since being dealt to the Phillies two years ago, posting a combined 5.01 ERA and 94:73 K:BB across two seasons (120.1 innings) with the IronPigs. He'll likely open the season back at Lehigh Valley.
Appel was designated for assignment by the Phillies on Monday.
The first overall pick by the Astros in 2013, he was dealt to Philadelphia two years ago in the Ken Giles trade. Appel has failed to get his career on track since the move, posting an ERA north of 5.00 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley last season with nearly as many walks (54) as strikeouts (60) in 82 innings. He will now be subjected to waivers.
Appel (shoulder) was activated from the disabled list at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Appel had been sidelined for the past two months with a shoulder ailment. He will be used out of the bullpen for the IronPigs in the International League playoffs. It is unclear if the Phillies intend to return him to a starting role next season or if the move to the pen will be permanent.
Appel (shoulder) started a rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Phillies on Thursday, Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Appel has been sidelined since the beginning of July with a shoulder strain. The minor-league season has almost ended, so it is unlikely we'll see Appel back at Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season. Since he holds a spot on the Phillies' 40-man roster, there is an outside chance he could get a look in the majors this month if his shoulder is healthy.
Appel is not expected to require surgery on his shoulder, Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Appel has been sent to Florida to rehab his shoulder strain. Joe Jordan, the Phillies' director of player development, said Appel should return to Triple-A Lehigh Valley "sooner rather than later."
Appel (shoulder) will head to the 7-day disabled list Thursday, Stephen Gross of The Morning Call reports.
The right-hander was placed on the DL with a shoulder strain after going almost two full weeks without any time on the mound for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. His past two starts have been a little shaky -- he's allowed four earned runs on 15 hits and seven walks during 10 innings of work. It has been a difficult year for Appel, and he may be in line to miss an extended period of time depending on the severity of this injury.
Appel allowed five hits over 8.1 scoreless innings Monday for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He struck out eight and walked three.
This was easily Appel's best start of the season. He generated 13 groundball outs and threw 70 of his 119 pitches for strikes. Overall, it has been another tough season for the top pick in the 2013 draft. He has a 5.05 ERA and a 49:41 K:BB in 71.1 innings. With poor command and a middling strikeout rate, it looks like Appel will have to be shifted to a bullpen role at some point to see if he can be productive in shorter stints.
Appel allowed six runs on 11 hits over four innings Tuesday for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.
Appel gave up a couple of home runs in a game that saw a total of five homers, thanks in part to a strong breeze blowing out to right field. The former No. 1 overall pick now has a 7.48 ERA and a 17:9 K:BB in 21.2 innings for Lehigh Valley this season. He has also failed to go past five innings in any of his starts. The Phillies may soon have to think about shifting Appel to the pen to see if his stuff will play up better in a relief role. It is looking increasingly unlikely that he will ever carve out a career as a starter in the majors.
Appel was optioned to the Phillies' minor-league camp Tuesday, Ryan Lawrence of The Philly Voice reports.
Most of the prospect sheen has worn off Appel at this point, but despite the demotion back to the minors, the former No. 1 overall pick has a good chance to surface with the Phillies later in 2017. He was added to the 40-man roster in the offseason and will presumably be on the team's short list of call-ups when a spot starter is needed, but until that happens, Appel will have to bide his time at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He's compiled a 4.47 ERA and 1.98 K/BB rate over 20 career starts at the Triple-A level.
Appel said he is able to get more extension when throwing now that he is pitching without bone spurs in his elbow, Ryan Lawrence of the Philly Voice reports. "I think a big thing for me, and really pitchers in general, is the amount of extension you get when you're throwing the ball," Appel said. "I think it helps with velocity, it helps with control, it helps just with the stress that goes through your elbow. When I had bone spurs, it really limited that range."
Appel had surgery last June to remove bone spurs from his right elbow. He also missed time with shoulder problems last season, and pitched just 38.1 innings at Triple-A Lehigh Valley before being shut down for the season. He's healthy now and is expected to open the year in the rotation back at Lehigh Valley. If he continues to struggle as a starter, the Phillies could decide to put him in the 'pen to see if he can deliver as a reliever instead.
Appel (elbow) was added to the Phillies' 40-man roster Friday.
The top pick in the 2013 first-year player draft, he struggled mightily in his first two years with full-season affiliates and was unceremoniously shipped out of Houston last winter in the Ken Giles trade. Things didn't get much better for Appel in 2016, as he posted a 4.46 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in eight starts at Triple-A before ultimately having surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow. However, he's making steady progress in his recovery and could compete for a rotation spot in spring training.
Appel (elbow) will finish his rehab work in the next few weeks and head home for the offseason to prepare for spring training, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports.
Appel is recovering from surgery in June to remove a bone spur in his right elbow. He went 3-3 with a 4.46 ERA and a 34:20 K:BB in 38.1 innings at Triple-A Lehigh Valley before being shut down. The two-time first-round pick will likely get a chance to compete for a rotation spot this spring.
Appel (elbow) is expected to start throwing off a mound in a few weeks, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia reports.
Appel is recovering from June surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. He struggled at Triple-A this past season, going 3-3 with a 4.46 ERA and a 34:20 K:BB in 38.1 innings. He is expected to be ready for spring training.
Appel underwent season-ending surgery Wednesday to remove a bone spur from his elbow, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Wednesday's surgery puts an already injury-filled 2016 campaign to an end as he had already endured some shoulder issues in addition to the bone spur on his elbow. Gelb reports that Appel should be ready by the time spring training gets underway, but he'll by 25 by that time, so the clock will be ticking for him to deliver on his potential. Prior to landing on the disabled list this season, Appel posted a 4.46 ERA with a 1.57 WHIP in 38.1 innings (eight starts) at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Joe Jordan, the Phillies' director of player development, said Appel (shoulder) is looking at a mid-July return, Jay Floyd of the Shore Sports Network reports.
Appel has been playing catch and is not feeling any pain in his shoulder according to Jordan. He was shut down in late May with a shoulder strain.
Appel (shoulder) played catch Tuesday for the first time since being shut down in May, but he remains at least two-to-three weeks away from returning from the DL, Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal reports.
The former first round pick has been battling a shoulder strain since late May, but he does appear to be making progress towards a return. He played catch Tuesday, so he'll likely need to log a few more similar sessions before moving to throwing off a mound. The expectation is that he'll be able to return from the 7-day DL in two-to-three weeks, at which point he should return to the rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Appel said medical exams of his shoulder have shown no structural damage, Tom Housenick of the Allentown Morning Call reports.
Appel failed to reach 90 mph in his last start and went on the disabled list Friday with a right shoulder strain. Manager Dave Brundage said there is no timetable for Appel's return.
Appel was placed on the minor league DL Friday with a right shoulder strain, the Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Breen reports.
His fastball velocity had been down in his last start, topping out at 89 mph before being pulled in the first inning Sunday. Appel has been a disappointment ever since getting drafted with the top pick in the 2013 draft, but his previous failings have been performance related. This shoulder injury might be a cue to move on from Appel in dynasty leagues where fewer than 150 prospects are rostered.
Appel failed to make it out of the first inning during his start Sunday for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. His fastball was topping out at 89 mph, down from his typical 94-95 mph velocity in the early innings, Tom Housenick of the Allentown Morning Call reports.
The decreased velocity is a concern as it could be a sign Appel is not fully healthy. He has really struggled of late, allowing 15 runs in his last four starts while walking 11 and striking out 17. Zach Eflin and Jake Thompson are likely ahead of Appel for an opportunity in the majors the next time the Phillies need a starting pitcher.
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2013||AFX-Quad Cities River Ba||3||1||3.82||8||8||0||0||0||33.0||30||16||14||2||1||9||27|
|2014||AA-Corpus Christi Hooks||1||2||3.69||7||6||1||0||0||39.0||35||17||16||2||2||13||38|
|2015||AA-Corpus Christi Hooks||5||1||4.26||13||13||1||0||0||63.1||68||34||30||7||2||23||49|
|2016||AAA-Lehigh Valley IronPi||3||3||4.46||8||8||0||0||0||38.1||40||22||19||3||1||20||34|