The Phillies promoted pitching prospect Drew Anderson from Double-A Reading to replace Joaquin Benoit and help alleviate the bullpen’s workload.
After trading Joaquin Benoit to the Pirates just as the trade deadline passed, the Phillies were left with a void in their bullpen compounded by the fact that Pat Neshek was traded to the Rockies and Jake Thompson was moved to the rotation. Whatever arms are left are sorely taxed. To help ease their workload, Drew Anderson was promoted to the majors straight from the Double-A rotation.
Anderson is on the 40-man roster, so moving him up to the majors was a fairly simple matter. The team needed an extra arm to help ease the workload of the team’s remaining reliever, and they don’t have to worry about adding an extra player to the roster.
Luis Garcia and Hector Neris were both used three games in a row so they are unavailable for Tuesday night’s game against the Angels. That means Anderson and fellow rookies Hoby Milner, Jesen Therrien, and Mark Leiter, Jr. are four of the five relievers available, along with inconsistent lefty Adam Morgan.
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In 19 starts with Double-A Reading this year, Anderson has a 3.76 ERA, 19.6 percent strikeout rate, and 8.3 percent walk rate. He had a 1.14 WHIP and opposing hitters were batting .212 against him. He has been okay, but certainly not great.
Anderson burst onto the scene last year after being a surprise addition to the 40-man despite never pitching above High-A.
He returned from Tommy John surgery last year and flashed a 97 mph fastball with an average curveball. He isn’t projected to be a frontline starter but could be a solid back-end guy.
Due to Anderson’s injury history there are some that think that he could wind up in the bullpen in the future. If he pitches well there in this time, there may be some weight added to that argument.
How long Anderson remains in this role is uncertain. It could just be until the bullpen rests up a bit, or it could be his role for the rest of the season as the team tries to ease him back from the surgery and limit his innings. He has already thrown 95.2 innings this year.