Phillies add Figueroa on waiver claim from Mets

Nelson Figueroa has been claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia
Phillies, who hope the right-hander can bolster an injury-depleted
bullpen.

The 35-year-old was designated for assignment by the New York
Mets on Monday. He was 3-8 with a 4.09 ERA in 16 games, including
10 starts, for the Mets last year.

With relievers Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero starting the season on
the disabled list, the Phillies are hoping that Figueroa can add
stability to the bullpen while pitching in long relief.

“He’s got good command and he knows how to pitch,” Phillies
manager Charlie Manuel said. “We wanted a guy who could build our
pitching up.”

Manuel expects Figueroa to report for Thursday’s game at
Washington. Philadelphia will make a roster move at that time for
the pitcher, who comes relatively cheaply with a $418,000
salary.

Figueroa, who has started 49 of 106 games in the big leagues,
also could be used as a spot starter.

“We don’t have a lot of options if guys get hurt,” Manuel
said. “We definitely need some inventory.”

Figueroa pitched for the Phillies in 2001 after he acquired from
Arizona in July 2000 for Curt Schilling. In seven seasons with
Arizona, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and the Mets, Figueroa
has gone 13-28 with a 4.54 ERA.