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Phillies Shut Down 3/5 of Lehigh Valley’s Rotation Before Playoffs

Mark Appel returned in time for the playoffs (Frank Klose/Sports Talk Philly)
Mark Appel returned in time for the playoffs (Frank Klose/Sports Talk Philly)

Some Phillies fans were a little annoyed this week when the Phillies opted to promote shortstop J.P. Crawford to the big club rather than letting him play in the Triple-A playoffs.  However, the subtractions from the roster are much more substantial that just Crawford.  In fact, three-fifths of the IronPigs starting rotation will be shut down.

Starting pitchers Brandon Liebrandt, Jose Taveras, and Tom Eshelman were all assigned to Double-A Reading.  That is, they were sent to a team that has no more games to play in 2017.  All having pitched a healthy amount of innings in 2017, they will head to the offseason to rest.

Added back into the fold was starting pitcher Mark Appel, who had been on the disabled list since July 5th until his return to Triple-A as a reliever on August 31.  Appel will remain in the bullpen going forward.  A member of the 40-man roster, perhaps the Phillies would even give him a look at the big league level after the postseason end at Triple-A.

Appel might be on the bubble for his 40-man roster spot.  The three aforementioned starters will need to be added this offseason.

The Phillies did promote electric arm Franklyn Kilome from Reading to Triple-A to serve as a starter, along with lefthanded pitcher Elniery Garica (best known for his PED suspension to begin the year) and Jacob Waguespack, who like Kilome began the year in Clearwater.

The other two starters for the IronPigs are Drew Anderson, who appeared in a couple games with the Phillies, and Henderson Alvarez, who Phillies fans may remember from his years with the Miami Marlins.  The Phillies grabbed Alvarez from the independent Long Island Ducks late in the season.

Also heading to Triple-A is infielder Mitch Walding, who hit 25 home runs in Reading, infielder Malquin Cañelo, and reliever Victor Arano.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer posted the full set of moves this morning:

The Triple-A playoffs begin tonight in Lehigh Valley.

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