Philadelphia Phillies Sign Pitchers Scott Elarton and Brian Sanches

Alex SchuhartCorrespondent INovember 30, 2011

Scott Elarton
Scott ElartonStephen Dunn/Getty Images

File this one under the “He’s Still In Professional Baseball?” file.

According to The Sports Network, rhe Philadelphia Phillies have signed right-handed pitcher Scott Elarton, who hasn’t played in the major leagues since 2008, to a minor league contract.

They also came to terms with reliever Brian Sanches, also per The Sports Network.

The 35-year-old Elarton, once a very highly-touted prospect, has had a career marred by injuries and inconsistency. He last pitched professionally in 2010 and did not perform well—surely, anyone not named Scott Elarton thought his career was over after his unimpressive showing.

Well, he’s back—at least, until spring training.

The former first-round draft pick began his major league career over a decade ago in 1998 for the Houston Astros.

While with the ‘Stros, he had some pretty impressive seasons—including one in which he won 17 games—before imploding in 2001 by posting an ERA over seven and earning a trade to the Colorado Rockies.

He then missed all of 2002 due to injury and then spent the next six years bouncing around the major and minor leagues, making stops with the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals.

2009 was another missed season, and his 2010 was an abominable 16-game spell in the Rockies minor league system in which he posted an 8.24 ERA. He did not pitch in 2011.

Each year, while teams are busily looking to sign the top big name free-agents, they are also sifting through the detritus, seeking a hidden gem, searching for some long-forgotten name to give a look.

Scott Elarton, it appears, is one such name.

The Phils also signed a slightly more-well remembered name in 33-year-old relief pitcher Brian Sanches. The righty pitched for the Florida Marlins in 2011 and went 4-1 with a 3.94 ERA in 39 games, missing a chunk of the season to an elbow injury.

The Texas native, who began his major league career with the Phillies in 2006, had two excellent seasons with the Fish in 2009 and 2010, going a combined 6-4 with a 2.40 ERA in 108 games.

In six big league seasons, he is 13-6 with a 3.58 ERA in 189 games. He might be able to benefit the Phillies’ bullpen, as he has shown a solid strikeout ability in the past.

In other news, pitcher Scott Mathieson, who the Phillies recently released, was signed by the Japanese Yomiuri Giants, according to The Sports Network. It’ll be interesting to see if, like other pitchers before him, he will have success overseas and be able to return to play stateside. 


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.