Ben Lively Appears Headed to Phillies Rotation
The Phillies have been difficult to watch. After a putrid month of May in which the Phillies went 6-22, Phillies fans are looking for reasons to stay interested. One might be the Major League debut of a young pitcher. Fans appear to be getting close to that.
Last night in Lehigh Valley, Cesar Ramos got a last-minute start for the IronPigs, replacing Ben Lively in what was essentially a bullpen game for the IronPigs. Though it has not been announced, Lively appears headed to Philadelphia to start on Saturday. The start will be Lively's Major League debut.
Lively was an 18 game winner in 2016 for the IronPigs and was added to the Phillies 40-man roster this offseason. Lively is 6-1 for the IronPigs with a 2.40 earned run average. He appeared on Phillies active roster twice so far as insurance, but has not appeared in a Major League game.
Meanwhile, Nick Pivetta is still listed as the IronPigs starter for Saturday. The Phillies probably will probably use Lively on Saturday for the rotation spot vacated by Zach Eflin since Lively's rotation turn was due Thursday. The Phillies have one more spot they need to fill and can turn to Pivetta. However, another Phillies prospect had a very impressive month of May.
Tom Eshelman, acquired in the Ken Giles trade from Houston, took home International League Player of the Month honors. After joining the IronPigs on May 8, Eshelman has gone 3-0 with a 1.40 earned run average for Lehigh Valley. Working against Eshelman is that he is not on the club's 40-man roster.
If the team so chooses, they can skip a fifth starter until Tuesday. That would allow them to have as much relief help as possible for their depleted bullpen.