Phillies recall struggling reliever after losing Spencer Turnbull to injured list

The Phillies welcome a familiar face back to the bullpen despite his struggles in Triple-A.
Philadelphia Phillies v Detroit Tigers
Philadelphia Phillies v Detroit Tigers / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Phillies were dealt another injury blow yesterday when Spencer Turnbull was pulled from his start after the third inning after only throwing 36 pitches. It was revealed after the game that he experienced a sharp pain in his right pitching shoulder while throwing a curveball, and he would be evaluated today to better understand the extent of the injury.

Prior to Thursday's game against the Miami Marlins, the Phillies announced that Turnbull would be placed on the 15-day IL with a right lat strain. Yunior Marte was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley in the corresponding move.

Phillies recall struggling reliever after losing Spencer Turnbull to injured list

While Turnbull's lat strain is likely to sideline the right-hander for six to eight weeks, the news that there was no structural damage to his pitching shoulder is welcome news as the Phillies have dodged a major injury to an important piece of the rotation depth. Speaking after yesterday's 6-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers, manager Rob Thomson plans to give rookie Michael Mercado a start sometime next week with Turnbull and Taijuan Walker both currently on the IL.

With Turnbull becoming the latest addition to the IL, the Phillies needed another arm out in the bullpen. The team opted to recall Marte from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 29-year-old right-hander, who recently completed a rehab stint after being placed on the IL in May with right shoulder inflammation, was just optioned to Lehigh Valley on Tuesday.

In 11 innings pitching for Lehigh Valley, Marte was shelled by Triple-A hitters, allowing 13 runs (nine earned) while recording an unsightly ERA of 7.36, allowing seven walks and striking out 11. He was solid in his last two minor league appearances, not allowing a run or a walk while striking out three in two innings. Marte will return to the Phillies bullpen and try to carry over his recent success against MLB hitters.

Marte was solid in his first stint with the Phillies before landing on the IL. In 12 appearances, he held a 2.70 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings pitched. It was assumed that Marte would find his way back to the big club after completing his rehab stint, but ineffectiveness during his time with the IronPigs and the emergence of José Ruiz as a reliable bullpen arm were the deciding factors in optioning him back to Triple-A.