Michael Plassmeyer was traded to the Phillies in June 2022 in exchange for quad-A catcher Austin Wynns. Plassmeyer had been struggling in the Giants system, but upon reaching the Phillies’ system, he showed dramatic improvement. He recorded a 2.41 ERA in 16 starts, thanks to a reduced walk rate and allowing fewer home runs.
He made two appearances with the big-league team at the end of the season, and looked solid enough that the team thought he might be able to provide the team with starting pitching depth in 2023.
Instead, Plassmeyer struggled through most of the season, and made just one comically awful major league appearance.
2023 stats: 1 game, 0-1 W-L, 22.09 ERA, 4 K, 0 BB, 3 HBP, 3 HR, -0.4 WAR
After getting off to a horrendous start to the season that resulted in a demotion and release, Plassmeyer was eventually re-signed and rejoined the Lehigh Valley team in August. He pitched much better upon his return, allowing just four total runs across his final five minor league appearances.
You generally don’t get demoted and released if you’re pitching well, and Plassmeyer was definitely not pitching well for most of the season. His walk rate returned to its high pre-Phillies levels, and he gave up runs in bunches. His minor league ERA was over 6 at the end of May when he was released.
After his post-release resurgence, Plassmeyer was called upon to start a game for the major league team in the meaningless final series of the year. It’s a good thing the game was meaningless, because he gave up ten runs in 3.2 innings. He didn’t walk any batters, but he hit three(!) of them and served up three home runs.
⚾Francisco Alvarez! HR (24)— Home Run Report (@homerunreport) September 30, 2023
It's outta here!
9/30/23 @ NYM, ⬇️ 2nd
vs LHP Michael Plassmeyer
108.1 MPH / 29° / 412 ft to LF
Off a 90.4 MPH four-seam fb
▶️It's a home run in 30/30 parks.◀️
: https://t.co/Rf7JYbBt0X pic.twitter.com/N2FlZLMzHa
Plassmeyer was dropped from the 40-man roster after the season and opted for free agency. He’s still relatively young (25), so perhaps he can figure out a way to cut down on the abundant walks and home runs and live up to the promise he showed in 2022. Some team will likely offer him a minor league invite to camp, but after such a poor season, I’m not sure if that team will be the Phillies.