Desperate for effective starting pitching at the back end of the rotation, the Philadelphia Phillies elevated right-handed prospect Spencer Howard from Triple-A Lehigh Valley and named him their starter for Saturday night’s home game against the Boston Red Sox.
After beginning the season as a long man in the Phillies’ bullpen, the 24-year-old Howard has been in the minors building his arm up to rejoin the big league club after making his debut in the majors last season.
In three relief outings earlier this season, Howard — the organization’s top pitching prospect ever since trading Sixto Sanchez to the Miami Marlins in a deal that brought them catch J.T. Realmuto before the 2019 season — had an 8.31 ERA and allowed four runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings, striking out eight.
In his three brief Triple-A starts this season, Howard has given up just one run and three hits while whiffing 13 over nine innings. He made six starts as a rookie for the Phillies in 2020, going 1-2 with a 5.92 ERA over 24 1/3 innings.
In the rotation, Howard replaces veteran right-hander Chase Anderson after the offseason free-agent pickup has gone 2-4 with a 7.56 ERA in 10 games (eight starts).
To make room for Howard on the roster, the team placed veteran left-hander Matt Moore on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to May 21, with lower back spasms.
Moore, who turns 32 next month, has struggled this season after he last pitched in the majors in 2019 for the Detroit Tigers. He spent the 2020 season in Japan, with his success there (2.65 ERA in 85 innings) causing the Phillies to sign him in February in hopes he could stabilize the back end of the rotation.
After just three starts in April, Moore was demoted to the bullpen for right-hander Vince Velasquez. In nine appearances this season, Moore is 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA.
–Field Level Media
–Field Level Media