Just when you thought the winter meetings couldn't get any more exciting...
With the 26th selection in the 2009 Rule 5 Draft, the Phillies nabbed Angels righty Kenneth Herndon off their Double-A Arkansas club (who also, for whatever reason, goes by David Herndon in some places, including MiLB.com and Fangraphs).
The good news is that Herndon is an extreme ground ball pitcher -- inducing 58.5% worm burners last year, and 60.4% for his career -- and pounds the strike zone, surrendering only 1.4 BB/9 throughout 4 minor league seasons. The bad news is that he doesn't miss many bats, posting a paltry 4.8 K/9 last year, which is right in line with his career 5.2 K/9. If you're wondering how this makes him any different from Bobby Mosebach... well, I haven't the foggiest. In fact, they seem like the exact same player to me.
Whatever the case, it's another arm to throw into the spring training mix. Herndon's sinker/slider mix resembles that of current Phils reliever Clay Condrey, and Condrey probably represents Herndon's best case scenario: a serviceable front end bullpen guy.
In other Rule 5 news, the Mets selected Phils farmhand Carlos Monasterios, perhaps best known to the Philly faithful as one of the pieces the organization received in the infamous Bobby Abreu
debacle deal. Both Herndon and Monasterios will have to make the 25-man rosters of the teams that selected them, or be offered back to their original clubs.
EDIT: Dylan Hernandez reports that the Mets have already shipped Monasterios to the Dodgers in exchange for cash. LA's bullpen looks pretty deep right now -- unless they decide to move guys like James McDonald and Scott Elbert to the rotation -- so I'd venture to guess that the odds of Carlos sticking there aren't great.