Phillies pick up power-armed reliever in trade with Pirates


The Phillies acquired relief pitcher Joel Cesar from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday. The acquisition completed an earlier trade that sent left-hander Austin Davis to the Pirates on August 26.

Cesar has been added to the Phillies’ 60-man player pool and could conceivably work out for a few days at the Lehigh Valley auxiliary camp before that closes down later this week.

Cesar is a 24-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic. He has a power arm and has flashed a triple-digit fastball but is considered quite raw. He has never pitched above Double A.

Cesar pitched in the Single A Florida State League and the Double A Eastern League in 2019. He struck out 16, walked five and had five saves in 12⅓ innings in the FSL. At Double A, he went 3-4 with a 3.76 ERA in 28 games. He struck out 36 and walked 12 in 38⅓ innings.

Entering Sunday, Davis had made three appearances out of the Pirates bullpen and had not allowed a run in 2⅓ innings.

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