UPDATE: On Saturday (May 25) the Phillies promoted Hammer to their 25 and 40-man rosters. To make room for him on their 40-man roster, pitcher Tommy Hunter was moved to the 60-day IL. Reliever Pat Neshek was placed on the 10-day IL to make room for Hammer on the Phillies 25-man roster. In his short stint with Lehigh Valley, Hammer threw two perfect innings in one outing. Ironically, Hammer’s large frame glasses, inspired by the movie Major League was filmed in Milwaukee where Hammer met up with the team Saturday.
The following story on Hammer was posted on May 21st…
J.D. Hammer hasn’t stayed in one place for too long. After missing much of the early part of the 2018 season with a sore elbow, Hammer opened the season with Clearwater before the elbow issue flared up again and put him back on the shelf. When he returned in August he was back in the Gulf Coast League before finally making it back to Clearwater in mid-August. Even with just 12 relief appearances last season, Hammer showed enough in spring training to open the season at Double-A Reading and showed why he deserved to be at that level. In 13 appearances to open the season, Hammer struck out 26 batters in 20 1/3 innings of work and had two saves and a 1-0 record with a 3.10 ERA.
Conventional wisdom had Hammer sticking with the Fightins for much of the season or in the best case scenario until the All-Star Break. That wisdom turned out to be wrong and Hammer is heading for his Triple-A debut with the IronPigs.
The Phillies acquired Hammer in July of 2017 in the deal that sent Pat Neshek to Colorado. He didn’t pitch for the Phillies in the minors after being acquired, but they did make him part of their contingent for the Arizona Fall League. In four minor league seasons, Hammer is 9-6 with a 2.56 ERA and 19 saves between the Colorado and Philadelphia organizations. Hammer was originally drafted by the Rockies in the 2016 Draft out of Marshall University.