Beginning today and continuing each day during the balance of 2020 as part of my celebration of 50 years following the Philadelphia Phillies, I’ll recall a mostly obscure and in many cases completely forgotten player who appeared with the ball club between 1971-2020.
This micro-bio series will publish each morning and will include basic background info on the player, their statistical performance with the Phillies during the specific season highlighted, and a snap-shot of the rest of their big-league career. For each year, I will choose one random position player and one pitcher, giving each their own remembrance.
The series will begin with the most recent season completed and work its way backwards. So, today we begin with a look at the most random pitcher from 2019, Yacksel Rios.
Rios turned 26-years-old on June 27 of last year and was pitching in his third season of Major League Baseball. He was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, and was originally selected by the Phillies in the 12th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft out of Doctora Conchita High School in Gurabo, Puerto Rico at age 17.
Rios worked his way incrementally up through the Phillies minor league system and spent time there each year from 2011-19. He appeared in 233 games in the minors with the organization, including 45 starts on the mound.
The right-hander finally made his big-league debut on August 22, 2017 in the 5th inning at Citizens Bank Park in what was the second game of a split doubleheader against the Miami Marlins. Rios tossed 1.2 shutout frames that night, striking out two and walking one.
In 2019, Rios pitched in just four games with the Phillies, and he wasn’t very good. Rios allowed seven runs (four earned) and six hits over 2.2 innings with two strikeouts and three walks. It all added up to an ugly 13.50 ERA and 3.375 WHIP.
On August 3, Rios was gone, selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates after the Phillies had exposed him to waivers. He would pitch in 10 games for the Bucs and was not much better, producing a 5.23 ERA and 1.452 WHIP.
The most random Phillies position player from the 2019 season will be featured in tomorrow’s “Phillies 50: Forgotten” piece. Check back in to be reminded of that next installment in this year-long series.