Updated: 5:14 p.m.
A day after getting shelled in the Phillies’ 8-2 loss to the Diamondbacks, starting pitcher Ben Lively was placed on the 10-day DL with a lower back strain.
“We talked about [his back] in about the third inning of the game," Gabe Kapler said. "It’s something he identified, and he told us that he was able to pitch. And one thing we thought about right away was, ‘how do we keep this guy as healthy as possible?’ That was our number one consideration.
"And then after the game, I had a conversation with Lives, talked through it a little bit more. Now, our mission is to keep him as healthy as possible and get him there as quickly as possible.”
In a corresponding move, Jake Thompson was recalled from Triple A Leigh Valley. But Kapler said Thompson will be coming out of the bullpen and Lively's replacement in the rotation is still to be determined.
“That's TBD," Kapler said of Lively's spot in the rotation. "We have some options internally, we have some options at Triple A, and we’ll think through those.”
Lively, 0-2 with a 6.85 ERA, has been the lone Phillies starter to struggle in April. With Jerad Eickhoff due back soon, Lively’s rotation spot is in jeopardy.
Thompson had allowed five runs (four earned) in five innings out of the Phils’ bullpen before being sent down the second week of April. He made three starts with the IronPigs and struggled mightily his last time out (April 22), allowing 10 earned runs in 3 2/3 innings.
However, in Thompson's last appearance in Philadelphia, he went three scoreless innings in a 20-1 rout of the Marlins on April 7. Kapler liked what he saw that night.
“His last outing was good for us … He’s got a good slider," Kapler said. "We want to see him continue to develop his slider, we want to see him continue to be a strike thrower. If he’s able to do both of those things, he helps us in these sort of scenarios, in this role specifically.”
In 18 big-league starts, Thompson is 6-8 with a 4.64 ERA. He’s walked 46 and struck out 64 in 95 innings in that role.
Zach Eflin, who has a 4.05 ERA in four starts at Triple A, also struggled in his last start (April 23), allowing six runs in four innings.
Because the Phillies have an off day on May 3, it is possible that a spot starter would be needed only once.
Closer prospect moves up to AAA
In a related move, the Phillies promoted highly-touted relief prospect Seranthony Dominguez from Double A to Triple A.
Dominguez, 23, had a 2.08 ERA for Reading with 18 strikeouts and just two walks in 13 innings. He’s a candidate to be up in the big leagues later this season if he continues to thrive in the minors.
Kapler saw Dominguez pitch firsthand earlier this week at Reading and came away thoroughly impressed.
"He's definitely got the talent," Kapler said when asked if Dominguez could help the Phillies this season. "He's definitely got the demeanor. And one of the things I mentioned yesterday as I was watching him was when we went out for mound visits (during spring training), this was a guy that was completely composed, in some ways similar to the way Scott Kingery's heartbeat is. He was always very cool, calm and collected. Then to come up and dial up 97, 98 (mph) with a nasty slider - those two things in combination lead me to believe he can make an impact."
NBC Sports Philadelphia's Noah Levick contributed to this story.