UPDATED: Anderson Goes Up and Back

(Photo courtesy Reading Fightins)

UPDATE: Drew Anderson had a short stay with the Phillies. The right-hander made the most of it though, entering the game in the eighth inning against the Angels Tuesday night and striking out Mike Trout of all people. Anderson did allow two runs in the inning – one earned – and was optioned back to Reading following the game. There’s a great story about Anderson’s big adventure from Matt Gelb of Philly.com.

When you’re on a major league team’s 40-man roster and pitching at Double-A, you know there’s a chance that you could get brought up to the majors, but you don’t exactly plan on that happening. Exactly that did happen for right-hander Drew Anderson, who was recalled by the Phillies Tuesday. Anderson, 23, is 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA at Reading this season.

It’s likely that Anderson is only going to be there for a short time as the Phillies figure out how their bullpen is going to work as the dust settles after three veteran pitchers – two who were used late in games – were dealt in the past week. The exits of Pat Neshek and Joaquin Benoit from the bullpen have turned the Phillies relief corps into somewhat of the great unknown, and since Anderson is already on the 40-man roster, he was actually a likely name to add to the mix between now and figuring out what they’re going to do and who is going to pitch when. The bullpen situation was made more confusing when the Phillies purchased the contract of Pedro Beato last week and he wound up pitching just 2/3 of an inning before suffering a hamstring injury that put him on the DL.

The Phillies value Anderson as a starter, but Jake Thompson is going to step into Jeremy Hellickson‘s spot in the rotation after he filled in admirably last Friday as the Phillies worked to complete a trade of Hellickson to Baltimore. While they like Anderson long-term as a starter, the Phillies have started to limit the innings on some of their pitching prospects, and if he doesn’t appear overwhelmed by pitching to major league hitters, he could stick with the Phillies for the remainder of the season, which would get his feet wet in the majors and also serve to keep his innings in check.

Currently, the Phillies have 38 players on their 40-man roster, so they can add two players. Reliever Ricardo Pinto was optioned to Lehigh Valley on July 25th and isn’t eligible to return until Friday. Pinto pitched in 10 games with the Phillies and was 1-0, but had a 6.28 ERA, which ballooned because of two relief appearances – his first on May 31st and his last on July 24th – that scarred his numbers. Edubray Ramos (0-7, 5.52 in 35 games) was optioned out the day after Pinto and also is ineligible to return to the majors.

Alberto Tirado is on the 40-man roster, but has pitched in just eight games at the Double-A level and is primarily a starter in the minors. Mark Appel is on the DL at Lehigh Valley, so he’s not eligible to join the major league club, either.

Lehigh Valley does have a few relievers with major league experience, including Michael Mariot, Colton Murray, Cesar Ramos and Pat Venditte. They also have relief prospects Joey DeNato, Yacksel Rios and Alexis Rivero, but none of them have a lot of major league experience.

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