NEW YORK — The Phillies made an in-house move in an attempt to upgrade their bench before Tuesday night’s game against the New York Mets.
The Phils added veteran infielder Trevor Plouffe to their roster and sent outfielder Dylan Cozens back to Triple A. To clear room for Plouffe on the 40-man roster, the Phillies designated lefty reliever Hoby Milner for assignment.
Plouffe, 32, is a veteran of eight big-league seasons, mostly with the Minnesota Twins. He signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies early in the season and was hitting .240 with 11 homers, 33 RBIs and a .839 OPS in 60 games at Triple A Lehigh Valley.
Plouffe is primarily a third baseman. He has also played first base and second base. He is a career .242 hitter with 105 big-league homers and a .714 OPS.
The move to add Plouffe comes a day after Phillies pinch-hitters were 0 for 3 (double play, two strikeouts) in a 4-3 loss in the first game of Monday’s doubleheader against the Mets. All of those at-bats came with runners on base.
Entering Tuesday, Phillies pinch-hitters — subtracting Nick Williams — were 14 for 96 (.146) with two homers and 10 RBIs. Williams was 10 for 21 with three homers and eight RBIs.
Cozens, 24, is a power-hitting prospect who needs to improve his contact skills. He is not going to do that sitting on the Phillies’ bench. He will return to Triple A and get regular at-bats. He was 2 for 18 with a homer in limited duty with the Phils. He struck out 12 times and walked just three.
The Phillies will continue to look to bolster their bench before the July 31 trade deadline.
In another move, the Phillies officially activated pitcher Enyel De Los Santos, Tuesday night’s starting pitcher. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, infielder Pedro Florimon was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
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It sounds like Enyel De Los Santos won't be starting the Triple A All-Star Game as planned Wednesday, but he has a great reason.
Tom Housenick of The Morning Call reports that De Los Santos, who was also selected to the MLB All-Star Futures Game, will make his MLB debut for the Phillies on Tuesday in New York.
De Los Santos, acquired in December from the Padres in exchange for Freddy Galvis, has had a stellar first season in the Phillies' organization. In his first year at the Triple A level, De Los Santos is 9-3 with an International League-best 1.89 ERA for the IronPigs.
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler aligned his rotation so that All-Star Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin could start Monday's doubleheader against the Mets (see story), leaving an opening for Tuesday's game.
Because De Los Santos is not currently on the 40-man roster, the Phillies would need to make a move to free up a spot. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki reports that Pedro Florimon is expected to be placed on the 60-day DL. Florimon has been on the DL since May 30 with a broken foot.
Updated: 5:32 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — Seven years after the Phillies selected him in the fifth round of the 2011 draft, Mitch Walding is headed for the major leagues.
The Phillies on Wednesday brought up Walding from Triple A to take the place of infielder Pedro Florimon, who broke his right foot on a foul ball in the first inning of Tuesday night’s game at Dodger Stadium.
The loss of Florimon to the 10-day disabled list left the Phillies in need of an infielder. Walding, a 25-year-old from Stockton, California, is a corner infielder who has played mostly third base for Lehigh Valley this season.
The Phils needed to add Walding to the 40-man roster. They did so by transferring Jerad Eickhoff (lat, fingers) to the 60-day disabled list.
The loss of Florimon leaves the Phillies thin at shortstop. Scott Kingery has been playing the position — and looking more comfortable there in recent days. Jesmuel Valentin is the primary backup. Cesar Hernandez could also play there in a pinch. J.P. Crawford is on minor-league rehab recovering from a forearm injury. He is probably a week or two away from rejoining the big club.
Walding, who hits left-handed, had a good season at Double A Reading last season. He hit 25 home runs. He has continued to progress this season and was hitting .272 with seven homers, 20 RBIs and a .865 OPS at Lehigh Valley.