Phillies option Jake Thompson back to Triple-A; More moves to come Friday

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Aug 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jake Thompson (44) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jake Thompson (44) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Phillies sent Jake Thompson back to Triple-A after Wednesday’s loss to the Mariners. He was in the majors to replenish an overtaxed bullpen.

The Phillies announced on Wednesday after their 11-6 loss to the Mariners that they optioned Jake Thompson back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The team said a corresponding move will be made Friday.

In three appearances out of the bullpen, Thompson gave up five runs on six hits and four walks. He threw a scoreless inning May 5, but in each of his last two outings he gave up multiple runs. In Wednesday’s game, Thompson gave up three runs over two innings on a home run, four hits, and a walk.

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The team called up Thompson last Friday after a 13-inning marathon loss to the Cubs. The bullpen has been overworked all season. Through 32 games, a Phils starter has lasted seven innings just seven times. Manager Pete Mackanin is often forced to use three or more relievers in a game, putting a heavy burden on the bullpen.

Thompson was not the first minor-league starter brought up this season to fill in the bullpen.

Mark Leiter, Jr. has seen more action as the team’s long man in the last week. Ben Lively was briefly in the major-league bullpen while Pat Neshek was on paternity leave.

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Thanks to a rest day Monday and another Thursday, the team feels confident enough to send Thompson back to Triple-A and rejoin their rotation.

In five Triple-A starts this season, Thompson has a 6.65 ERA, 3.39 FIP, and 22.3% strikeout rate. Thompson allowed a combined 15 runs in his first two starts, but he limited the damage to four runs in his last three.

With a full bench again, the team will probably bring up a different reliever on Friday. Luis Garcia seems like the likely option.

However, they could opt to bring up the switch-pitching Pat Venditte, who hasn’t given up a single run through 16.2 innings with Lehigh Valley. Bringing up Venditte would require a move on the 40-man roster.

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Thompson could very well be back in the majors if and when another injury occurs on the pitching staff, whether it be in the rotation or in the bullpen.

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