PHILADELPHIA -- Tim Gradoville ascended from a 37th-round Draft pick to the Major Leagues. The Mechanicsburg, Pa., native arrived the unconventional way, as he was named the Phillies' bullpen catcher Friday, replacing Mick Billmeyer, who performed that role as well as catching instructor. Billmeyer has been elevated to bullpen coach. Gradoville, selected 1,109th overall in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, spent the past seven seasons mostly in the Phillies' Minor League system, hitting a combined .210 in 1,174 at-bats. He graduated from Creighton University, which also produced former Major Leaguer Scott Stahoviak.
The 28-year-old Gradoville spent most of 2008 with the Giants' Triple-A affiliate, Fresno, then returned for seven at-bats with Triple-A Lehigh Valley before retiring as a player. He spent two weeks of the 2006 season with the Phillies as insurance for an injured Mike Lieberthal, but didn't record an at-bat.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.