With the trade deadline just weeks away, the Philadelphia Phillies kicked off July with an early trade. It’s just not the trade Phillies fans have been waiting for.

The Phillies have traded catcher Jorge Mendez to the Colorado Rockies for a cash consideration. According to Mendez’s MiLB player page, the deal was completed on June 29. He was assigned to the Rockies’ Arizona Complex League affiliate on Monday.

If you’re not familiar with the name, don’t worry; you haven’t missed much. Mendez, a Venezuelan native, signed with the Phillies in 2021 as a 17-year-old and played two seasons with the Phillies’ affiliate in the Dominican Summer League.

This season, the 20-year-old backstop played for the Florida Complex League Phillies for the second straight year, but he hasn’t shown much improvement from his first stint in 2023.

In 11 games, Mendez slashed .214/.290/.321 with a home run and two RBI for the FCL Phillies. While his batting average is not much different from his .217 mark of last year, his on-base and slugging percentages took a hit, to .367 and .370, respectively.

The most alarming change in Mendez’s game this season has been the flip-flop in his strikeout and walk rates. Last season, he struck out at an 11.7 percent rate, but that dropped off early this season to a 3.2 percent walk rate. In 2023, he struck out at a mere 1.7 percent rate, but that jumped to 16.1 percent this year.

Perhaps the 5-foot-11 right-handed hitter tried to hit with more power, leading to more strikeouts, but the change didn’t result in more production.

This is the second struggling catcher the Phillies have traded in as many weeks. On June 18, they sent Double-A/Triple-A catcher William Simoneit to the Chicago Cubs, also for a cash deal.