Lively has dominated in the Phillies minor league system
Injuries have rocked the Phillies 25-man roster in recent days, but the latest hole has developed for good reason.
Reliever Pat Neshek is on paternity leave with his wife expecting the couple’s third child. Their first son didn’t survive his first day of life, and their second experienced health issues following birth. Hopefully the Neshek family welcomes a healthy child into the world this week, and the 36-year-old can enjoy some time off the field.
Replacing Neshek on the Phillies 25-man roster is prospect Ben Lively, who could make his major league debut against the Mets in Queens.
Lively is primarily a starting pitcher, but the lack of minor league relievers on the Phillies 40-man roster ties up the number of options at the organization’s disposal.
If Vincent Velasquez or Aaron Nola struggle to get out of the fifth inning again, expect Lively to see a long relief appearance for his major league debut.
Acquired from Cincinnati in return for outfielder Marlon Byrd, Lively was awarded the Paul Owens Award, given to a player in the Phillies minor league system who had the best season.
Lively cruised through Double-A Reading in 2016, and made a clean transition into Lehigh Valley. His 18-5 record and 2.95 ERA were among the best in the organization last season.
The 25-year-old righty is 1-1 through two starts with the IronPigs this season with a 4.91 ERA after allowing four earned runs against Pawtucket last week.
His time in the big leagues will more than likely be short, but Lively will undoubtedly take in the experience before returning to Triple-A.