Phils release pitcher Gomez, OF Saunders

Phils release pitcher Gomez, OF Saunders

PHOENIX -- The Phillies released Michael Saunders and Jeanmar Gomez on Sunday.

They were designated for assignment Tuesday and cleared unconditional release waivers.

The Phillies signed Saunders in January to a one-year, $9 million contract. He hit .205 with six home runs, 20 RBIs and a .617 OPS. Gomez opened the season as the Phillies' closer, but he made just two appearances in that role before losing the job. He has a 9.64 ERA since Aug. 14.

Eickhoff could return Wednesday.

Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff is on the 10-day disabled list with a strained upper back, but he could rejoin the rotation Wednesday in Seattle. Eickhoff is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday.

"It all depends on how he feels after the bullpen," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

Eickhoff (0-7, 4.93 ERA) said his back feels fine.

"There's no tugs or pulls right now," he said. "I'm just trying to take it easy and ease myself back into it."

Right-hander Mark Leiter pitched in Eickhoff's place Friday, going six scoreless innings against the D-backs in his first big league start and picking up his first win.

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.