Phillies bullpen reinforcements could be coming in June
The Phillies could be getting back as many as three of their relievers back from the injured list throughout the month of June.
Phillies relievers have made heavy use of the injured list this season with five currently on it. However, several could soon be returning to the major-league roster.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reported that Edubray Ramos and Tommy Hunter both threw bullpen sessions Wednesday. Zolecki also said that David Robertson is close to picking up a ball again. All three could return to the roster by the end of June, albeit the first two are more likely to return next month.
Hunter has not appeared this season after suffering a flexor strain in his right arm during spring training. He received a PRP injection in early April and there has been little news about him until now.
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Hunter is in the second year of a two-year, $18 million contract he signed after the 2017 season. He got off to a rough start to the first year of his deal but turned things around to end the year with a 3.80 ERA, 110 ERA+, 1.250 WHIP, and 1.5 Baseball-Reference wins above replacement.
Robertson is also on a fairly hefty contract.
He’s in the first year of a two-year, $21 million contract with a $12 million team option for 2021. Altogether, the team has $26.75 million of 2019 salary devoted to relievers on the injured list.
Robertson’s career in Philadelphia got off to a rough start with a 5.40 ERA and 2.100 WHIP in seven games. He hasn’t pitched since April 14 and Zolecki wasn’t sure that Robertson would be back next month. Robertson was moved to the 60-day disabled list Saturday, meaning he can’t even come back until mid-June anyway.
Ramos hasn’t been on the injured list as long as the previous two, only joining it May 13 with biceps tendinitis. The righty was struggling before hitting the injured list with a 4.66 ERA, 1.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and a 1.66 WHIP in 12 games.
As these relievers return, it will be interesting to see who returns to the minors. Ramos can be optioned back, but Robertson and Hunter obviously cannot. Most likely, J.D. Hammer and Edgar Garcia will go back to the minors once Robertson and Hunter eventually return.