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Brandeis alum Nelson Figueroa ’98 waived by Mets, joins Phillies

By Kara Karter

Section: Sports

April 9, 2010

Brandeis alum Nelson Figueroa ’98 is on the move again. After being designated for assignment by the New York Mets on Monday, the 35-year-old right-hander was claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday. Figueroa had previously pitched for the Phillies in the 2001 season.

In Philadelphia, Figueroa will be expected to help patch up a shorthanded bullpen. Both Brad Lidge (elbow and knee surgeries) and J.C. Romero (elbow surgery) are currently on the disabled list, as is starter Joe Blanton (oblique strain). The Phillies optioned pitcher Andrew Carpenter to their Triple-A affiliate in Lehigh Valley to make room for Figueroa on the 25-man roster. Once Lidge, Romero and Blanton rejoin the team, Figueroa will need to clear waivers to remain with the Phillies organization.

On Thursday, Figueroa was in uniform, tossing two innings in relief of Blanton’s rotation replacement, Kyle Kendrick. He allowed one run on three hits and a walk and was charged with the loss in a 6-5 defeat to the Nationals.

In addition to the Mets and the Phillies, Figueroa has also pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates. He was drafted in the 30th round, 833rd overall, of the 1995 MLB entry draft, and represented Puerto Rico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Figueroa is currently the only Brandeis graduate to have ever played in the major leagues.

The American Studies major and former WBRS Disc Jockey returned to Waltham this past October. After the university’s annual alumni game, his No. 2 jersey was formally retired by the team. Figueroa will wear jersey No. 44 in Philadelphia.

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