Gabe Kapler has an expanded roster at his disposal, and it seems he’s going to make the most of it.
With rosters expanding Saturday, the Phillies recalled Aaron Altherr, Dylan Cozens and Yacksel Rios from Triple AAA Lehigh Valley. The team also activated relievers Edubray Ramos and Austin Davis off the 10-day DL and Pedro Florimon off the 60-day DL.
Jesmuel Valentin was designated for assignment. Mark Leiter Jr., who had been designated for assignment earlier this week, was claimed on waivers by the Blue Jays and is headed to Toronto.
Kapler hasn’t been hesitant to use his full bench and bullpen, and he now has a few more resources he can use.
All the players activated have spent time with the Phillies this season. Altherr was demoted in July after a disappointing start to the season. He hit just .171 in 248 plate appearances. He should provide another good defensive replacement and pinch-running option late in games, along with another powerful bat off the bench.
Cozens is 2 for 20 with 14 strikeouts at the major-league level. Like Altherr and recent addition Jose Bautista, he's an option who Kapler can turn to for power.
Florimon, who had been sidelined since May 18 with a broken foot, is a versatile defensive player.
Rios, Ramos and Davis should give Kapler even more flexibility out of the bullpen.
After Friday night’s 2-1 win in 10 innings over the Cubs, the Phillies trail the Braves for first place in the NL East by two games with 28 games remaining. Seven of the Phillies’ final 11 games are against Atlanta.
This is the first wave of September call-ups for the Phillies. More moves could be coming later in the month once Lehigh Valley's playoff run ends.