The Phillies placed key reliever Archie Bradley on the 10-day injured list Sunday afternoon with a left oblique strain, eight games into their season.
Left-handed reliever JoJo Romero was recalled from the Phillies' alternate site to take Bradley’s place on the active roster.
Bradley took the loss Saturday night in Atlanta after giving up a double to Ehire Adrianza and a single to Ronald Acuña Jr. in the seventh inning of a tie game.
He said Sunday that he didn't feel great going into that appearance. He felt fine Wednesday when he faced the Mets, then got a Covid vaccine on the Phillies' off-day Thursday and experienced a rough night.
"It’s not something I can pinpoint, it wasn’t one particular act I felt it on," Bradley said. "Kinda didn’t feel great coming off of the off day. I got a shot, had a night of shivers and cold aches and we kind of just played it off as that. When I got done yesterday, I was sitting there like, man, I can really feel this in my side, so I’m gonna say something.
"I’ve never had an oblique thing, never anything on the oblique or rib side. This is new for me. Don’t really know how bad it is yet."
Bradley has appeared in four games as a Phillie, entering twice in the seventh inning, once in the sixth and once in the eighth. He’s allowed two runs and five baserunners in three innings with three strikeouts.
Bradley was the most expensive addition to the Phillies’ bullpen over the offseason, signing a one-year contract worth $6 million. There was some thought he’d enter the season as the closer but that job went to Hector Neris, who’s finished four games and made five scoreless appearances. Bradley is in a setup role, as he was for the bulk of his six-year tenure in Arizona.
Bradley has had a remarkably healthy run. His last stint on the injured or disabled list came in June 2015.
With Bradley out, Connor Brogdon and Brandon Kintzler become even more important as setup men, as does lefty Jose Alvarado. Sam Coonrod has pitched very well since the spring and could factor into the later innings as well. He'd allowed one baserunner in four scoreless innings entering Sunday.
Neris, Brogdon, Alvarado, Kintzler and Coonrod have combined to give up three runs in 23 innings (a 1.17 ERA) with 27 strikeouts and five walks.
The 24-year-old Romero was among the Phillies’ final cuts of spring training. It was a surprising cut given it left Alvarado as the lone lefty in the season-opening bullpen. At the time of that move, manager Joe Girardi talked about Romero’s potential to be an “elite reliever” with his arsenal of pitches but needed to work on command.
“I don’t think you can make too much of what’s going on down there (at the alternate site) because it’s a different heartbeat and it’s a different world up here,” Girardi said Sunday. “I think we’ll have a better idea when he gets into a game.”
Romero made 12 appearances as a rookie in 2020 and had a 2.89 ERA with 10 strikeouts and one walk after his first nine. He then allowed three runs in each of his next two appearances, ending the shortened season with a 7.59 ERA in a dozen games.