Phillies surprise roster shuffle sees reliever demoted to Triple-A for rookie arm

Yunior Marte is heading to Lehigh Valley with rookie Tyler Phillips taking his place in the bullpen.
Philadelphia Phillies reliever Yunior Marte has been demoted to Triple-A
Philadelphia Phillies reliever Yunior Marte has been demoted to Triple-A / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Heading into their weekend matchup with the Atlanta Braves, the Philadelphia Phillies announced a series of roster moves that came seemingly out of nowhere, but make sense when you look closer.

With three big games lined up against their biggest competition in the NL East, despite holding a 9.0-game lead over the Braves, the Phillies decided they wanted to add a fresh arm with some length to the bullpen before Friday's game.

Phillies surprise roster shuffle sees reliever demoted to Triple-A for rookie arm

The Phillies selected the contract of rookie right-handed pitcher Tyler Phillips from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. To make room on the 40-man roster for Phillips, reliever Luis Ortiz, who is scheduled for Tommy John surgery, was moved to the 60-day IL.

To make room on the active 26-man roster, right-handed reliever Yunior Marte has been optioned to Lehigh Valley.

Phillips, 26, was a 2015 16th-round draft pick of the Texas Rangers and has never pitched in the majors. He has been in the Phillies organization since being claimed off waivers in 2021.

The front office obviously wanted to add some length to the bullpen, as Phillips has been serving as a starter for the IronPigs this season. He has made 15 starts and has a 7-3 record — including two complete games — with a 4.89 ERA and 7.63 K/9.

Yunior Marte the odd man out of roster shuffle

Yunior Marte, the odd man out in the roster shuffle, was only just recalled from Lehigh Valley on June 27 when Spencer Turnbull hit the IL with a lat strain. Over three one-inning stints since rejoining the Phillies, the 29-year-old allowed two runs on four hits while striking out three and walking two. In 15 MLB appearances this season, Marte carries a 3.31 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings, with a pair of holds and a blown save.

He struggled for much of his recent rehab from shoulder inflammation in Triple-A, so with MiLB options available, the Phillies had no problem sending Marte to get some more work with the IronPigs. There's a good chance he'll be back in the majors again soon, however, if Phillips makes his debut this weekend and the team plans to cycle fresh arms through the bullpen.

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