This is a sad day for Phillies fans (all five of us). Sal Fasano, otherwise known as the guy with the best facial hair in all of sports, has been designated for assignment.

Fasano had become a fan favorite in Philly, due mostly to his Italian heritage and fu manchu mustache. But he went on the DL a few weeks ago with knee inflamation and since then his replacement, Chris Coste, has been swinging a hot bat. Fasano says he’s really upset.

“This one hurts a lot, actually,” he said yesterday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. “It hurts a lot because I thought I finally had a home.”

The Phillies designated Fasano for assignment, which ends his short Phillies career. The Phillies have 10 days to dispose of Fasano’s contract. If he isn’t traded, he will be released because he said he has rejected his option to join triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“We thought long and hard about it,” Phillies assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “It was not an easy decision. Sal worked hard, but he got caught up in a numbers game.”

The Phillies designated Fasano, who hit .243 (34 for 140) with four homers and 10 RBIs, because they felt that they had no room for him on their 25-man roster. Chris Coste has played well behind the plate, and they felt he deserved to stay. Coste is hitting .333 (18 for 54) with two home runs and 12 RBIs. The Phillies have 13 pitchers on their roster, but wanted to keep 13. Some of those pitchers could be traded before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

“Coste has really played well, and we feel we’d stay with him as the backup,” Amaro said. “His versatility helped.”

4 Responses to “Sal’s Pals Say Goodbye”

  1. Sal Fasano has a long, distinguished career ahead of him in the adult entertainment business.

  2. Coley Ward says:

    Nick, I see your point. But AJC sports columnist Mark Bradley sees things different. Here’s what Bradley wrote today:

    Essentially the Braves swapped young infielders — Wilson Betemit goes, Willy Aybar arrives — for the purpose of hiring a set-up man. When you’re six games under .500 with 60 to play, where’s the percentage in giving up on Betemit, who’s further along than Aybar? Where’s the percentage in dealing away a guy who can play third and second base when your third baseman keeps getting hurt and your second baseman is having a lousy year?

    As if on cue, Chipper Jones tweaked his oblique against the Mets on Friday, necessitating an in-game call to Betemit. Who, two hours later, was no longer on the team. The Braves had held out hope of getting reliever Scott Linebrink from San Diego for Betemit, but they settled for Danys Baez instead. Where’s the percentage in settling for anything? Isn’t the smarter move simply to let this season play out and not offload any more youngsters?

  3. Nick Kapur says:

    Coley, Bradley’s point is predicated on the notion that Betemit is clearly better than Aybar, and I don’t think that’s very clear at all. Aybar *already* has a higher OBP than Betemit and a higher career OPS, and he is two years younger.

    Plus Aybar is also noted for his ability to play all infield positions (he has actually been playing second recently), so that point is moot as well.

  4. Nick Kapur says:

    This trade just keeps getting worse. Today, the LA Times is reporting that the Dodgers are paying all of Baez’s remaining salary as well!

    I’d say that Ned Colletti got fleeced.

    The other thing that really bothers me is, why are the Dodgers so desperate to get a third baseman anyway???  In addition to Cesar Izturis and Willy Aybar, arguably their best two prospects at Triple-A are both also third basemen – i.e. Andy LaRoche and Joel Guzman.

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