12/06/07 1:44 PM ET
Phils select Blackley in Rule 5 Draft
Former Mariners prospect could become No. 5 starter
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
"He's a guy with a chance to compete for that fifth-starter job, a left-hander who can give you innings," Arbuckle said. "We still think he's on the upswing from [shoulder surgery], and he continues to get better. He has good command, a fringe fastball, good changeup, good breaking ball and a feel for pitching. If he doesn't end up as a fifth starter, his stuff may allow him to pitch out of the middle."With a need for a middle-inning lefty reliever also a priority, Blackley's chances of making the Phillies' 25-man roster appear to be good. Philadelphia took another shot in the Major League phase with Lincoln Holdzcom, a hard-throwing right-hander selected from the Red Sox organization. The 25-year-old, originally a seventh-round Draft pick of the Marlins in 2001, split last season between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. He went 5-1 with one save and a 2.97 ERA in 42 games and held opponents to a .231 average. Arbuckle said the issue with him has been command. The Phillies took two players in the Minor League phase of the Draft for inventory -- third baseman Patrick Sellers from Houston and second baseman Luke Appert from Oakland. Philadelphia also lost two players in the Minor League phase, right-hander Scott Mitchinson (Oakland) and right-hander Kenny Fernandez (Florida). In the Rule 5 Draft, teams pay $50,000 to select players who have been left unprotected on 40-man rosters. They must then keep that player on the active big league roster for the entire season or offer him back to the original team for $25,000.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.