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Appel, Tirado clear waivers, will stay with Phils

Right-handers were designated for assignment Nov. 20
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- Mark Appel will get another shot to make the big leagues with the Phillies.

The team announced Monday afternoon that Appel and Alberto Tirado cleared waivers and have been outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The righties were designated for assignment last week to clear room on the 40-man roster for pitching prospects Franklyn Kilome, Seranthony Dominguez, Jose Taveras and Ranger Suarez, protecting them from the Rule 5 Draft.

PHILADELPHIA -- Mark Appel will get another shot to make the big leagues with the Phillies.

The team announced Monday afternoon that Appel and Alberto Tirado cleared waivers and have been outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The righties were designated for assignment last week to clear room on the 40-man roster for pitching prospects Franklyn Kilome, Seranthony Dominguez, Jose Taveras and Ranger Suarez, protecting them from the Rule 5 Draft.

If a team had claimed Appel or Tirado, it would have had to place him on its 40-man roster.

Appel, 26, joined the Phillies in the Ken Giles trade with Houston in December 2015. The Phils requested Appel after they had concerns about Vince Velasquez's health. Outfielder Derek Fisher, 24, originally had been part of the deal. Fisher, who emerged as one of the best prospects in baseball before joining the Astros this season, got bumped for Appel.

Appel, whom the Astros selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 Draft, made just 25 starts the past two seasons because of elbow and shoulder injuries, posting a 5.17 ERA in eight starts with Lehigh Valley in 2016 and a 5.27 ERA in 17 starts in '17.

"A lot of the tools that Mark showed as an amateur that led to him being the No. 1 overall pick are still there," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said last week. "He has simply struggled with performance. It's certainly not for lack of effort on his part."

Tirado, 22, walked 60 and struck out 67 in 77 1/3 innings this season.

Bench coach interviews

The Phillies are interviewing candidates this week to be manager Gabe Kapler's bench coach. WFAN reported Monday that Yankees bench coach Rob Thomson will be interviewed. Thomson also is a candidate to be the next Yankees manager.

The Phillies already have hired Rick Kranitz, hitting coach John Mallee, third-base coach Dusty Wathan, bullpen coach Jim Gott and assistant hitting coach Pedro Guerrero to be part of Kapler's staff. Kranitz's role is undefined, but he is likely to be the pitching coach.

Besides a bench coach, the Phillies also will hire a first-base coach and assistant pitching coach.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Philadelphia Phillies, Mark Appel, Alberto Tirado