Phillies tab surprising Game 1 starter, Spencer Howard on IL

The Phillies will oppose Sixto Sanchez for the first time without Rhys Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto

The Philadelphia Phillies will be taking on their former top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez in Game 1 of their Sunday doubleheader against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park — the fifth and sixth games of the overall seven-game series.

A Phillies rookie will start opposite the hard-throwing Marlins right-hander, who the Phillies dealt as part of the trade to acquire All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto. And, it’s not RHP Spencer Howard, who the Phillies placed on the 10-day injured list on Sunday with right shoulder stiffness — but rather RHP Ramon Rosso for his first MLB start.

The club announced Rosso as their 29th man for the doubleheader, and that fellow right-hander Connor Brogdon has been recalled from their alternate training site in Lehigh Valley as the corresponding move to replace Howard on the active roster.

Howard, 24, exited his Saturday start early with right shoulder stiffness and told reporters after the game that he had been experiencing tightness over the last few days. While he tested well with trainers, it appears his revaluation on Sunday warranted the injured list stint.

Rosso, 24, made his MLB debut on Opening Day; through five appearances to date as a reliever, he has yielded five runs, seven hits, one home run and five walks while striking out six of his 28 batters faced. The Dominican Republic native went 5-6 with a 4.46 ERA through 24 combined starts last season between the Double-A and Triple-A levels.

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Brogdon, 25, is similarly a rookie, albeit debuting exactly one month ago on August 13. Through three relief appearances, the right-hander has yielded five runs, four hits, three home runs, and three walks spanning 2 2/3 innings; he has struck out three of his 15 batters faced.

As NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Corey Seidman notes, the Phils’ Game 1 lineup displays the team being “undermanned,” with both Realmuto (hip) and Rhys Hoskins (wrist) absent opposite Sanchez:

The Phillies will turn to RHP Zach Eflin to start Game 2.

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