The Phillies have announced that righty Ben Lively will go on the 10-day DL with a lower back strain. It seems the issue arose in Lively’s most recent outing.
Fellow right-hander Jake Thompson will take his spot on the active roster for the time being, but Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets that Thompson will not move into Lively’s rotation spot.
At the moment, then, it’s not clear who’ll take the starting role while Lively is down. Zach Eflin is perhaps the top option that is currently on the 40-man roster, though Thompson and Drew Hutchison are both presently working as relievers despite histories as starters.
While the Phils will have to scramble a bit to fill in, the move comes as something of a reprieve for Lively. The 26-year-old has exhibited a year-over-year increase in his strikeout rate (from 5.3 per nine to 8.4 per nine) to this point, but it’s not backed by any improvement in his swinging-strike rate. Otherwise, things have gone backwards for Lively after a solid debut showing in 2017. He’s carrying a 6.85 ERA through 23 2/3 innings over five starts.