Lively Designated as Phillies Activate Eickhoff
The Phillies added a 33rd active player on the roster ahead of Monday's Labor Day match up against the Miami Marlins. After missing more than five months, Jerad Eickhoff was activated from the 60-day disabled list, the Phillies had to make a move to free up a roster spot.
That roster space was freed up when the Phillies designated for assignment the contract of Ben Lively. Lively spent most of the season on the disabled list at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. After opening the season in the Phillies starting rotation, Lively was replaced by Zach Eflin after five starts.
Lively was 0-2 with a 6.85 earned run average in those five starts for the Phillies. Lively was placed on the disabled list on June 20 for the IronPigs. Lively returned on August 20 and has served exclusively in relief since. Lively had given up just one run in eight relief innings since his return.
The Phillies may hope to sneak Lively through waivers and keep him in the system. That did not work for pitcher Mark Leiter, Jr.who was claimed by the Toronto Blue Jays. Lively has some talent and could help a major league club eventually. But with players in the system with a higher ceiling, Lively was expendable.
Eickhoff is expected to mostly serve as a relief pitcher, but the Phillies are leaving open the possibility that he starts a game or two down the stretch. Expected to be an anchor of the Phillies rotation, Eickhoff stopped his Spring Training mid-way through March. Though Eickhoff was expected to be out just six to eight weeks at the time, a couple setbacks have kept him off of the mound until recently.