Samsung declines to re-sign, struggles in the U.S., fails to return to Korea, now loses out to rookie

One of the best teams in the majors this season, the Phillies have been fueled by a strong starting rotation. Led by ace Zack Wheeler and one of the best pitchers in the majors this year, Ranger Suarez, the starters have been both steady and explosive.

However, the recent injury bug has been a concern. Taijuan Walker, who hasn’t had a great season but was still part of the rotation, was placed on the disabled list on June 24 with inflammation in his right finger. Spencer Turnbull, who had performed so well in Walker’s absence that he seemed poised to take over the starting role, also left the lineup on June 28 with an oblique injury.

With one starting spot open, someone had to come up from the minors. It was veteran reserve David Buchanan (35-Philadelphia) who stole the spotlight. Buchanan, who signed a minor league contract with the Phillies this year, was given the opportunity to start in exhibition games. The team continued to test him as a backup starter. He didn’t make the opening day roster, but he was a consistent starter in Triple-A.

There was hope that he could be called up if one of the major league team’s starters went down with an injury, but even with two starters out, Buchanan was not called up. Instead, when Walker went down with an injury, it was rookie Michael Mercado, 24, who stepped up to the majors in his place.

Mercado was Tampa Bay’s second-round pick in 2017 and had been steadily developing into a starter in the minors. A call-up seemed like a no-brainer. He was the best performer among the Triple-A starters this year. In 14 Triple-A games (10 starts), Mercado went 1-1 with a 1.71 ERA. The expectation is that Mercado will fill the starting spot until the two pitchers return.

Buchanan continues to struggle in Triple-A. He recently lost his starting job. He’s been relegated to a long relief role out of the bullpen. With the major league teams’ starting rotations full, it’s a bit of a sticking point. However, in 15 games (10 starts) this season, he has 19사이트 a 5.03 ERA. He’s also giving up a lot of hits per game, with a batting average of .302.

He still has value as a reserve. However, he hasn’t made it to the major leagues until halfway through the season. You can feel how the Phillies view Buchanan. Plus, he”s old. Given the same value, it makes sense to go with a younger player. The worst-case scenario for Buchanan is that he doesn’t make it to the majors this year and stays in the minors.

A successful pitcher in the KBO, Buchanan was unable to reach an agreement with Samsung in 2024. He then tried to return to the major leagues, but things didn’t work out and he signed a minor league contract with the Phillies after failing to get a guaranteed major league contract. Things were going well until the exhibition games, when he continued to receive opportunities, but things got more difficult.

Returning to Korea won’t be easy either. Samsung holds the rights to Buchanan. That’s why Buchanan’s return was always on the table when new signings Connor Seabold and Danny Reyes struggled early in the season. However, both players have stabilized recently and there is no need to hold onto Buchanan, who has been struggling in the minors. Reyes has a 2.72 ERA in his last 10 games, while Conner has a 2.99 ERA. That’s a good one-two punch right now. Buchanan is losing his way.

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