Jake Thompson called up on emergency basis for Phillies
Phillies relief pitchers are looking for some…relief early in the season
Phillies fans were both confused and greatly concerned Friday afternoon when pitching prospect Jake Thompson was called up to the big leagues. Nick Pivetta is filling in for the injured Aaron Nola, and Clay Buchholz season has essentially been declared over.
Luckily none of the Phillies starters beyond Nola and Buchholz are ailing, which made Thompson’s arrival going into the weekend even more strange.
After a 13 inning marathon in Chicago on Thursday, the Phillies felt the need to bolster their bullpen. Joaquin Benoit, Jeanmar Gomez, and Joely Rodriguez pitched 5.2 innings in the loss, while Pat Neshek had issues warming up.
Thompson will play a role similar to his IronPig teammate Ben Lively, who had a cup of Gatorade in the Phillies bullpen early this season. With a tired staff and Neshek having trouble getting his arm stretched out the Phillies will have Thompson available to pitch on an emergency basis.
To create room for Thompson on the 25-man roster, recently acquired utility man Ty Kelly will head to Lehigh Valley. Kelly made his Phillies debut in late April after being acquired from the Mets to bolster the bench considering Aaron Altherr would play every day with Howie Kendrick ailing.
Kelly is 0-2 for the Phillies and has gotten seldom playing time since being acquired last month.
Thompson, who made his major league debut as a starter for Philadelphia last year, failed to make the 25-man roster out of Spring Training. Acquired in the Cole Hamels trade with Texas along with a slew of prospects, Thompson hasn’t seen great success this season in Lehigh Valley.
Through five starts with the IronPigs this year the righty has compiled a 6.65 ERA while allowing 19 runs in just 23 innings of work. His most recent appearance came Saturday against Toledo, where he bounced back from a rough first couple of starts.
Philadelphia opted not to recall their top pitching prospect when Buchholz and Nola went down with injuries, instead turning to Pivetta and Zach Eflin.
Next: Breaking down Nick Pivetta's first MLB start
Focus now turns to the Nationals, who begin a three-game series in Philadelphia Friday evening.