Two intriguing, young names have joined the Phillies in Denver
UPDATE: Alfaro and Pinto have officially been recalled, and Ty Kelly has been sent to Lehigh Valley to make room on the 25-man roster
With Andrew Knapp suffering a hand injury Thursday evening in Anaheim, the Phillies have brought top catching prospect Jorge Alfaro to Colorado.
Joining Alfaro, the big chip in the Cole Hamels trade, is pitcher Ricardo Pinto.
A spot on the 25-man roster is available after the team sent Jake Thompson back to Lehigh Valley. Thompson made a start on Wednesday in place of the departed Jeremy Hellickson and allowed two earned runs, with five additional allowed via errors, in five innings of work.
Pinto is likely going to remain in the bullpen and return to the IronPigs when the fifth spot in the rotation opens up again. At that point, either Zach Eflin or Ben Lively will likely be called up for good as a member of the starting rotation.
As for Alfaro, who appeared in six games last season, time will tell if he’s here in place of an injured Andrew Knapp or over a struggling Cameron Rupp. The most likely scenario is Knapp is unable to play in the near future after taking a ball off the hand last night.
If Knapp needs time on the disabled list the Phillies will give Alfaro all the opportunities he needs to prove he can start on opening day next year over Knapp or Rupp. If Alfaro is only in town as an emergency catcher for a day or two, the Phillies may give him a spot start.
Alfaro managed just two hits and a walk in 17 plate appearances last season while striking out eight times. Working with the IronPigs this year he’s hitting just .241 with just seven home runs and 113 strikeouts in 84 games.
Pinto has bounced between the majors and Triple-A this season as both a starter and long-reliever, throwing in 14.1 major league innings this year with a 6.28 ERA.