Austin Davis

David Robertson will be shut down a little while longer after second opinion from Dr. James Andrews

David Robertson will be shut down a little while longer after second opinion from Dr. James Andrews

A "visit with Dr. James Andrews" often means bad injury news in the sports world, but the Phillies are characterizing reliever David Robertson's appointment with him Monday as a positive one.

Robertson, out since April 15 with a strain in his right elbow/forearm, got a second opinion from the renowned sports orthopedist and the goal is for the injury to heal naturally. Robertson will be shut down from throwing for three weeks.

"David feels more comfortable after this most recent diagnosis and feels more confident," manager Gabe Kapler said before Monday's Phillies-Brewers game. "It was a good news visit from our perspective."

With this recommended method of treatment, it looks like Robertson will not be able to return until late June or early July at the earliest. After the three-week shutdown period, he will have to begin a throwing program and ramp back up before beginning a minor-league rehab assignment. That will take a few weeks in itself.

The Phillies did not offer a concrete timetable but July is just six weeks away at this point.

Robertson is the highest-priced reliever in the Phillies' bullpen. He was signed this past offseason to a two-year, $23 million contract with a third-year club option. 

He arrived in Philadelphia having made at least 61 appearances every season since 2010. This is the longest period of time he's missed. Robertson's only two prior career stints on the disabled list lasted no longer than a month.

Entering the season, Robertson was perceived as the Phillies' most important reliever because of his successful track record and ability to both close and set up. The Phillies' bullpen has held up for the most part without him. They enter Monday night with the eighth-lowest bullpen ERA in the majors at 3.89. The rest of the NL East has a 5.13 bullpen ERA. 

Ramos to the IL

Reliever Edubray Ramos was placed on the 10-day injured list Monday with stiffness in his right shoulder. He was examined Monday and there are no long-term concerns. Ramos will not throw for a few days.

"This feels like a very short stint on the injured list but we felt like it was the right decision and conservative one," Kapler said.

The Phillies replaced Ramos on the active roster with left-hander Austin Davis, who is available to pitch tonight.

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Phillies place Vince Velasquez on injured list with right forearm strain

Phillies place Vince Velasquez on injured list with right forearm strain

In a surprise move, the Phillies placed Vince Velasquez on the 10-day injured list Saturday with a right forearm strain.

The injury could soon open the door for Nick Pivetta’s return to the majors, but more immediately, left-hander Cole Irvin will replace Velasquez on Sunday against the Royals. It will be Irvin's major-league debut after a dominant run at Triple A.

Since the start of last season, Irvin is 16-4 with a 2.51 ERA for the IronPigs despite a low rate of strikeouts.

Pivetta, meanwhile, has found a groove at Triple A Lehigh Valley, pitching to a 2.84 ERA over his last three starts with 25 strikeouts in 19 innings and a .156 opponents’ batting average.

Velasquez was fighting to keep his rotation spot. He has struggled of late. He had a 1.99 ERA in his first four starts but allowed 18 base runners, four home runs and eight runs in 7⅔ innings over his last two starts. The same old issues popped back up — poor fastball command, a deliberate pace, and in his most recent start a game-calling conflict with catcher J.T. Realmuto.

In exactly 75 starts as a Phillie, Velasquez has a 4.57 ERA and the highest home run rate (1.4 per nine innings) among any Phillies pitcher who’s ever made that many starts.

The Phillies called up left-handed reliever Austin Davis to replace Velasquez on the active roster. Pivetta last pitched on May 9 so he wouldn’t be on regular rest until Tuesday.

In another Phillies-related roster move, the Giants claimed outfielder Aaron Altherr off waivers. They've held interest in him for a little while and have one of the worst outfield situations in the majors. Altherr should have more of a role there than he did here.

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Phillies send down Edubray Ramos; Victor Arano recalled

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Phillies send down Edubray Ramos; Victor Arano recalled

Update: Pitcher Victor Arano has been recalled. 

The Phillies have altered their opening day roster for the first time this regular season, optioning right-handed reliever Edubray Ramos to Triple A Lehigh Valley. 

A corresponding roster move will be made prior to Friday’s game in Miami against a Marlins team that was outscored 21-1 by the Reds the last three days. 

The activation of Roman Quinn is a possibility but seems more likely to occur next week. The promotion of another reliever would fit with the Phillies’ preference to carry eight relievers. 

Candidates include:

• Victor Arano, who has pitched four scoreless innings at Triple A, allowing one baserunner and striking out seven.

• Edgar Garcia, an interesting right-handed relief prospect with a good slider. 

• Lefties James Pazos and Austin Davis, who are both at Triple A. 

All four are on the Phillies’ 40-man roster. 

We’ll see tomorrow.

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