Phillies News: Kyle Schwarber's back, Luis Ortiz & Yunior Marte update, Pinto returns

There's plenty of news to catch up on this week, including rehab updates and Kyle Schwarber's status after Friday's game.
Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Kyle Schwarber
Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Kyle Schwarber / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

With the Philadelphia Phillies on such a roll, running their record to 27-12 over the first 39 games, lately everyone’s attention has been on the players on the field. With so many big-time performances from the likes of Alec Bohm, Ranger Suárez and Zack Wheeler, just to name a few, it has been easy to forget about the players who aren’t with the team right now.

The Phillies have experienced some turbulence and turnover with the relief corps this year, but that hasn't stopped the bullpen from being one of the best. Despite throwing the fewest innings in the majors (113 1/3) before Friday's game, the bullpen has amassed 1.6 fWAR, the fourth-highest in MLB.

We've already seen the departure of Connor Brogdon and Ricardo Pinto (although we'll get back to him) and have lost some arms to injury. So far, the Phillies have been lucky that the ailments that have felled their relievers haven't been serious.

Ricardo Pinto returns from free agency

Speaking of Ricardo Pinto, the right-hander has returned to the fold, kind of. After a brief hiatus testing the free-agent waters for seven days, the 30-year-old has rejoined the Phillies organization on a minor league deal.

Pinto was originally designated for assignment on April 28 after posting a 10.27 ERA and 2.25 WHIP in 10 2/3 innings. He cleared waivers but refused the assignment to the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, instead opting for free agency. According to his MLB player page, Pinto was officially assigned to Triple-A on Thursday. He has some work to do before he'll get another sniff at the majors.

Luis Ortiz faces a setback during rehab

Now back to the big league bullpen. First, the bad news. After an early-season left ankle sprain sidelined Luis Ortiz for three weeks, the right-hander has suffered a setback after just a pair of rehab outings. According to, Ortiz has been recalled from his rehab after feeling something in his shoulder. That something is being called inflammation, at least for now.

It's an unfortunate turn of events for the 28-year-old, who only threw 2/3 of an inning before hitting the IL on March 30. The Phillies don't sound concerned, at least, with manager Rob Thomson saying, “We don’t think it’s anything, but we’re just taking it easy on him." Ortiz will restart his throwing program on Saturday. The team still expects him to return sometime this month.

Ortiz isn't the only Phillies pitcher who has experienced a setback recently. Dylan Covey, who started the season on the IL with a right shoulder strain, had started throwing but tweaked a hamstring. He hasn't pitched since the beginning of March, and now he'll take even longer to get back to action.

Yunior Marte and Michael Rucker have started throwing

Now some good news, or at least some better news from the relief pitcher infirmary. One of the early breakouts in the Phillies bullpen was Yunior Marte, but he was placed on the IL on May 1 with right shoulder inflammation. The latest update is that he has started playing catch. He threw from 150 feet on Friday but is a ways away from actually pitching again, with his return date still to be determined.

Michael Rucker, who was shut down with numbness in his right hand during spring training, is also throwing and has progressed to a bullpen session, which is expected to happen on Saturday.

Kyle Schwarber pulled on Friday with sore back

Under the category of something to keep an eye on is Kyle Schwarber's back. The Phillies designated hitter was pinch-hit for in the ninth inning of Friday's 8-2 win over the Miami Marlins. According to's Todd Zolecki, Schwarber took a seat with a sore back.

The Phillies don't consider it serious but are being cautious. The lefty slugger went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI and two strikeouts before being pulled for pinch-hitter Kody Clemens.

On the season, Schwarber is hitting .217 with a .721 OPS, nine home runs and 25 RBI. The Phillies aren't going to want to be without their leadoff hitter for long, especially after losing shortstop Trea Turner for at least six weeks last Friday.