The Washington State Cougars knew their chances of landing prized pitching recruit Mitch Gueller were slim to minuscule after he was drafted 54th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies last week.
Those chances were reduced to none Sunday when the W.F. West High School star said he agreed to terms with the Phillies.
“It’s been my dream since I was a kid,” Gueller said. “I always wanted to be a baseball player.”
Gueller, a hard-throwing right-hander, said his signing bonus is $940,000. He said the Phillies have told him he will be assigned to their rookie-league club in Clearwater, Fla., in the Gulf Coast League.
Asked what he’s plans to do with his newfound riches, the 18-year-old Gueller said, “I’m going to save it. It’s a lot of money and you want to go and spend it, but I’m going to save as much as I can.”
Gueller, a lifelong resident of Rochester, posted a 6-0 record and 0.80 earned-run average at W.F. West this season. He struck out 70 in 422/3 innings.
Gueller said he “probably” would have gone to WSU if he had been drafted in the second round or lower. However, the Phillies selected him in the compensation round between the first and second rounds.
LOSING BY THE BOOK
Jonathan Papelbon threw two pitches from about 40 feet in the visitors’ bullpen at Camden Yards in the top of the 10th inning, and that represented a day’s work Sunday.
The Phillies lost, 5-4, to the Baltimore Orioles for their seventh walk-off loss of the season. Papelbon, the $50 million closer, has not pitched in any of those games.
Charlie Manuel has played those situations by the book. Managers typically will not use their closer in a tie game on the road, instead opting to hold him back for a save situation. That opportunity hasn’t come.
“He wasn’t coming in,” Manuel said. “You don’t do that. I’ve never done that. There’s a lot of managers who have never done that, I’d imagine.”
Marlins right-hander Carlos Zambrano said his stiff lower back felt much better Sunday, less than 24 hours after he came out of a game against Tampa Bay in the third inning. “It’s not as tight as it was,” Zambrano said. “Just going to take it one day at a time. Nothing to worry about.” Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans and he quickly gave Miami’s sputtering lineup a much-needed boost with an RBI double. The Red Sox placed reliever Rich Hill on the 15-day disabled list with tightness in his left elbow. Hill had Tommy John surgery on the elbow a year ago. Chipper Jones was activated from the Braves’ disabled list and started against the Blue Jays. Jones missed 14 games with a left calf contusion. The Cardinals transferred pitcher Chris Carpenter to the 60-day DL to clear a roster spot for rookie right-hander Joe Kelly’s major league debut against Cleveland. St. Louis also sent backup catcher Steven Hill to Triple-A Memphis. The Padres optioned right-hander Andrew Cashner to Double-A San Antonio and called up right-hander Brad Boxberger from Triple-A Tucson.Contributing writer Howie Stalwick contributed to this report.