Former Astros champion Chris Devenski shines in Phillies debut

Chris Devenski #47 of the Houston Astros (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Chris Devenski #47 of the Houston Astros (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Veteran reliever Chris Devenski impressed in his Phillies debut at Wrigley Field.

One of the Houston Astros’ relievers from their 2017 World Series championship roster, Chris Devenski was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies to a minor-league deal in late August. Now, he has a week to prove why he should be a mainstay in the bullpen and earn another postseason run, five years later.

Earlier this week, the Phillies selected the 31-year-old right-hander’s contract from Triple-A Lehigh Valley — a corresponding move after placing southpaw reliever Brad Hand on the injured list with elbow tendinitis.

Devenski made his team debut in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. He tossed a scoreless eighth inning, retiring all three batters faced on just 11 pitches.

Hand’s injury is not a good sign. Even if the team clinches a postseason spot, there is a big question mark if he could even return for the Wild Card series. The left-hander has quietly put together a solid year, maintaining a 2.80 ERA in 55 appearances and 45 innings pitched. Currently, Jose Alvarado is the only left-handed reliever in the Phillies bullpen (with Ranger Suarez and Bailey Falter being used as starters).

Devenski has had prior success in MLB, but hasn’t been able to keep a roster spot. In the five years since his All-Star nod and World Series championship in 2017, Devenski has a mediocre ERA north of 5.00. He also pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2021 and parts of this season.

When he played for Triple-A Lehigh Valley in recent weeks, Devenski impressed the higher-ups with his mid-90s fastball and respectable strikeout stuff. He pitched to a 1.04 ERA, striking out 11 in nine games. The Phillies will hope Devenski has continued success in the final regular season games against the Cubs, Washington Nationals, and his former team (Astros).

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