Jesen Therrien

Phillies make transactions as 2 players become free agents

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Phillies make transactions as 2 players become free agents

The Phillies on Monday made a handful of transactions.

Right-handers Zach Eflin, Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez were reinstated from the 60-day disabled list, as were utility man Pedro Florimon and reliever Jesen Therrien.

Both Florimon and Therrien were outrighted to Triple A Lehigh Valley and become free agents.

Eflin, 23, last pitched on Aug. 18 and finished the season on the DL with a right shoulder strain. For Eickhoff, 27, "nerve irritation" in his right throwing hand ended his 2017 season in late August. Velasquez, 25, had a blood flow issue in his pitching arm that caused numbness and bruising in his right middle finger. As a result, his final outing came on Aug. 10 and he underwent surgery in September.

All three are expected to compete for starting rotation spots in spring training.

Florimon, who turns 31 in December, and Therrien, 24, are now off the 40-man roster. Florimon played 15 games last season before suffering a dislocated right ankle, while Therrien saw two stints with the Phillies, posting an 8.35 ERA in 18 1/3 innings. He dominated in the minors, compiling a 1.41 ERA between Double A and Triple A to go with nine saves, 65 strikeouts, nine walks and a .191 opponents' batting average.

Therrien underwent Tommy John surgery in September and will miss all of 2018.

Phillies use another waiver claim, bring in left-hander from Seattle

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Phillies use another waiver claim, bring in left-hander from Seattle

The Phillies again made use of their high priority in the waiver order, claiming left-handed reliever Zac Curtis off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.

Curtis, 25, was the Diamondbacks' sixth-round pick in 2014. He made 21 appearances out of Arizona's bullpen in 2016 and three more for Seattle this season. In 18 career innings, he has a 5.00 ERA and 1.67 WHIP with 12 strikeouts and 14 walks.

In four minor-league seasons, Curtis owns a 2.44 ERA with 229 strikeouts and 54 walks in 162⅓ innings.

Curtis was part of a high-profile trade last offseason when he was shipped by Arizona along with infielder Jean Segura to Seattle for starting pitcher Taijuan Walker.

Because the Phillies have the worst record in the National League, they had the first crack at Curtis once every American League team passed on him.

To make room for Curtis on the 40-man roster, the Phillies transferred righty Jesen Therrien (elbow) to the 60-day DL.

Curtis is the third reliever the Phillies have claimed off waivers in the last two weeks. They brought in Juan Nicasio on Aug. 3 (only to later trade him to St. Louis) and lefty Kevin Siegrist on Sept. 2.

Phillies call up Henderson Alvarez
In a separate move, the Phillies brought up veteran right-hander Henderson Alvarez, according to the pitcher himself via a pair of retweets. 

Alvarez was pitching for the Long Island Ducks of the Independent League when the Phillies signed him on Aug. 22. He made three starts with Triple A Lehigh Valley and went 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA.

Alvarez was an All-Star in 2014 with the Marlins, when he went 12-7 with a 2.65 ERA in 30 starts. But arm injuries sapped him of his effectiveness and kept him out of the majors from early in the 2015 season until now.

Call-up Jesen Therrien looking to make his mark in Phillies' bullpen

Call-up Jesen Therrien looking to make his mark in Phillies' bullpen

Late in spring training, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin asked Jesen Therrien to sign a baseball for him.

Now the young reliever would really like to make his mark.

Therrien was recalled from Triple A Lehigh Valley on Friday, two days after Pat Neshek was traded to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for three young prospects.

Therrien, a 24-year-old righy, went 0-0 with a 1.57 ERA in 18 games for the IronPigs after going 2-1 with a 1.26 ERA in 21 for Double A Reading. He was 2 for 2 in save opportunities at Lehigh Valley and 7 for 8 at Reading.

“I’m anxious to see Therrien,” Mackanin said before Friday’s game against Atlanta. “I heard a lot of good things about him. We saw him in the spring, and I liked what I saw.”

While in Clearwater, Mackanin sought that autograph from Therrien, a Montreal native, because Mackanin’s wife, Nancy, is also French-Canadian.

“I was pretty excited when it happened,” Therrien said. “I was like, ‘Damn, I probably did a good job.’”

He did make an impression on Mackanin, because of his slider — a pitch he refined with the help of 2003 Cy Young Award-winner Eric Gagne, a fellow Canadian with whom he has worked the last three offseasons — and his demeanor.

“He didn’t show any fear when he pitched,” Mackanin said. “Even in spring training, he came in and threw strikes. He pitched like he belonged, which is important.”

Therrien, the Phillies’ 17th-round draft pick in 2011, struggled with his control as a starter in the low minors, but has blossomed as a reliever. This year, he had 65 strikeouts and nine walks in 57 1/3 innings at his two minor-league stops.

“For me, this year was just pounding the strike zone,” he said. “That’s what happened to me. It helps me a lot. I threw my secondary pitches for strikes. Things are good.”

He had a simple explanation for his mindset on the mound.

“At every level, the thing in my mind was to pitch like I was facing big leaguers,” he said.

And while there had been talk of a call up to the big club for weeks, Therrien said he was more concerned with the task at hand — that he had a one-pitch-at-a-time mentality.

The majors? He claims that’s something he has only allowed himself to think about each offseason.

“After every year, the goal of every professional baseball player is to be in the major leagues,” he said. “Now that I’m here, I want to try to make the best out of it.”

And, perhaps, really make his mark in Philadelphia.