jake thompson

Phillies trade Jake Thompson, call up Hector Neris, and monitor Wilson Ramos' progress

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Phillies trade Jake Thompson, call up Hector Neris, and monitor Wilson Ramos' progress

The Phillies made several transactions before Tuesday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox.

In a move that could have an immediate impact Tuesday night, the club recalled reliever Hector Neris from Triple A Lehigh Valley. To make room for Neris, the Phillies sent infielder J.P. Crawford to Lehigh Valley.

The move left the Phils with a four-man bench and gave them an unusual nine-man bullpen — three lefties and six righties.

Also on Monday, the team traded pitcher Jake Thompson to the Milwaukee Brewers in a cash deal. Thompson had been designated for assignment when the Phillies acquired left-handed slugger Justin Bour from Miami on Friday.

Thompson, 24, joined the Phillies organization from Texas in the July 2015 trade that sent Cole Hamels to the Rangers. He pitched in 30 games for the Phillies over three seasons and shuttled back and forth to Triple A this season while working out of the bullpen.

Thompson was one of six players acquired from the Rangers for Hamels and reliever Jake Diekman. The others were pitchers Matt Harrison, Jerad Eickhoff and Alec Asher, catcher Jorge Alfaro and outfielder Nick Williams. Harrison never pitched for the Phillies because of a back injury. The Phillies essentially took on his remaining contract as part of the deal. Asher was designated for assignment at the end of spring training 2017 and eventually dealt to Baltimore. Ironically, he landed with Milwaukee and was designated for assignment Monday to make room for Thompson.

Eickhoff, Alfaro and Williams remain with the Phillies. Eickhoff has been on the disabled list all season but is pitching on minor-league rehab. Alfaro and Williams are regulars with the big club.

Crawford sent down

Manager Gabe Kapler said the Phils decided to send Crawford down for more at-bats because Bour would be the first left-handed hitter off the bench and that would reduce some need for Crawford.

Also, the Phils like the idea of a super-deep bullpen against Boston and its majors-best offense.

“The Red Sox don’t have many holes,” Kapler said. “They do everything really well. We felt like if we could stay in games these next couple of games — even if we don’t have the lead, if we’re within striking distance, we felt like it was advantageous to stay in games even if it was two, three or four runs away from going for the jugular. So in that case, it’s nice to have an additional reliever for sure.”

Neris returns

Neris was sent to the minors in early July to repair his splitter and his confidence. He has been very good recently, giving up just three earned runs in 16⅔ innings over his last 17 games. He has allowed just nine hits and six walks over that span while striking out 29.

Wilson Ramos ready?

One final note: Catcher Wilson Ramos appears to be making speedy progress in his recovery from a hamstring strain. He was 4 for 9 with three doubles in three games for Clearwater from Saturday through Monday. Ramos is expected to be evaluated in Philadelphia on Tuesday and could be in the Phillies’ lineup sooner rather than later. The Phils acquired Ramos from Tampa Bay at the trade deadline knowing he’d need some time to recover from the injury suffered in early July.

“With Wilson, we're discussing what his next steps are going to be,” Kapler said. “Nothing is set in stone and nothing is off the table.”

Ramos' three rehab games have been “really, really good,” Kapler said. “He's come out feeling especially healthy. He's been productive at the plate. Last report from his game Monday night — nine innings, he was much more mobile behind the plate, no health issues, looking very good.”

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Who goes to Triple A when Justin Bour arrives — Scott Kingery, J.P. Crawford, a reliever?

Who goes to Triple A when Justin Bour arrives — Scott Kingery, J.P. Crawford, a reliever?

SAN DIEGO — Justin Bour will be in uniform for the Phillies on Saturday night and Gabe Kapler is thrilled to have him.

“I envision him being a dynamic, power-hitting weapon off the bench,” the Phillies manager said Friday night, several hours after the team acquired the left-handed slugger from the Miami Marlins.

The Phillies cleared room for Bour on the 40-man roster by designating pitcher Jake Thompson for assignment.

Now comes the big question:

Who gets lopped from the 25-man roster to make room for Bour?

The Phillies could trim back their bullpen to seven relievers by sending one of them to the minors.

It’s more likely, however, that they trim from an area of depth. And with J.P. Crawford coming off the disabled list on Friday, the Phils have two middle infielders on their bench in Crawford and Scott Kingery.

The Phils could address their 25-man roster issue by sending one of those players to Triple A before Saturday’s game.

It might make sense simply to send Crawford out to get him some at-bats at an advanced level. He had just 28 plate appearances in the Florida State League before being activated after spending seven weeks on the disabled list with a broken left hand.

But it would also be completely understandable if the Phillies sent Kingery down. The rookie, who signed a landmark, six-year, $24 million contract in spring training, has spent the entire season in the majors but has recently been replaced by Asdrubal Cabrera as the team’s primary shortstop. Overall, Kingery is hitting just .223 with a .588 OPS. He has struck out 99 times and walked just 21. On top of it all, he is mired in an 0-for-20 slump that has coincided with his losing playing time to the recently acquired Cabrera. The Phillies sent Aaron Altherr down to regain his stroke so he could come back in September and be productive. Kingery's situation does not seem all that different — except for the large financial investment the team has made in him.

“We probably won't make any decisions until after we play tonight's game and see if that helps inform our decision at all,” general manager Matt Klentak said of the looming roster decision. “I think we've reached a point in the season where it's about winning baseball games. We've been pretty conscious all year long of trying to be competitive while also promoting development, and I think at this point we need to start focusing on winning baseball games. We're going to do whatever we have to do. If somebody gets sent out in the next three weeks, it's probably going to be only for a short period of time. When rosters expand on Sept. 1, a lot of the guys that are currently in Triple A will be back here. Whatever we end up doing is likely temporary.”

Kapler confirmed before Friday night’s game what has recently become obvious: Cabrera is his shortstop.

“Right now, it looks like Cabrera is going to play a good bit,” Kapler said. “And (third baseman) Mikey Franco has been really good for two months straight. So those guys have earned the opportunity in a playoff run to play quite a bit. So, for now, that’s how we see it.”

Kapler said he would use Bour whenever the game is on the line and a right-handed pitcher is on the mound.

“The longer we save him, the more likely we’re going to get a counter move,” Kapler said. “So we’ve got to pick the time as early as possible where he can do the most damage and deploy him.

“He’s fired up. He’s going to fit right in here. Our guys are excited to have him.”

Bour, 30, hit .227 with 19 homers, 54 RBIs and a .759 OPS for Miami this season. Four of those homers came against the Phillies. Last season, he hit .289 with 25 homers and 83 RBIs.

Bour has put up some big numbers in his career against the NL East. Against Atlanta, he has a .302 batting average, 13 homers, 42 RBIs and a 1.023 OPS. Against the Mets, he has a .276 batting average, nine homers, 29 RBIs and an .870 OPS. Against Washington, he has a .232 batting average with 11 homers, 37 RBIs and a .745 OPS.

The Phillies, who entered Friday leading the NL East by a game over the Braves, have 10 games remaining against the Mets, nine against the Nationals and seven against Atlanta.

“I think it’s worth noting that he’s really hurt the Braves,” Kapler said. “I think that matters.”

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Another up-and-down effort from Nick Pivetta brings Phillies' hot stretch to a halt

Another up-and-down effort from Nick Pivetta brings Phillies' hot stretch to a halt


CINCINNATI — Nick Pivetta had electric stuff Friday night. That much was clear by the 12 strikeouts he registered in six innings.

But Pivetta made several mistakes over the heart of the plate and the Cincinnati Reds did not miss them. The Phillies’ three-game winning streak came to an end in a 6-4 loss at Great American Ball Park.

Pivetta gave up six hits, including a pair of homers, a solo shot to Eugenio Suarez in the second inning and a three-run shot to Mason Williams in the fourth inning.

Williams’ homer came with no outs, on a 1-2 breaking ball, and was preceded by hits from Tucker Barnhart and Adam Duvall.

One night after tying a team record with seven homers in a 9-4 win over the Reds, the Phillies got a two-run homer from Odubel Herrera in the third inning. The Phils added a single run in the fifth on an RBI single by Rhys Hoskins.

The Phils had just five hits in the first eight innings. They strung together a couple in the ninth inning and scored a run on a two-out hit by Cesar Hernandez to make it a two-run game. Reds closer Raisel Iglesias got Hoskins to ground out with two men on base for the final out of the game.

Pivetta began the season as one of the Phillies’ top success stories. He recorded a 3.26 ERA in his first 11 starts. Over his last 10 starts, his ERA is 6.84.

The Phillies are 58-45. They entered the night 2½ games up on Atlanta for first place in the NL East.

Earlier in the day, the Phillies acquired infielder Asdrubal Cabrera in a trade with the New York Mets. He is slated to join the Phillies for Saturday night’s game. Vince Velasquez will pitch against Matt Harvey.

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