The Phillies made a move on the pitching staff this afternoon, optioning southpaw Bailey Falter to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Reliever Erich Uelmen was recalled to take the open active roster spot.
Falter was pushed into an unexpectedly important season-opening role for Philadelphia. Spring Training injuries to Ranger Suárez and top prospect Andrew Painter ensured Falter would open the year in the starting five. Falter had started 16 of 20 appearances last season, working to a 3.76 ERA in that capacity, so it wasn’t an unfamiliar role. The Phils seemed likely to push him into a depth role if everyone were healthy but the aforementioned injuries threw both Falter and Matt Strahm into the rotation behind Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Taijuan Walker.
The 26-year-old Falter has had a rough first six weeks to the season. He’s surrendered a 5.13 ERA over 40 1/3 innings as his strikeout rate has dropped from 21.2% to 16%. His swinging strike percentage has had a correspondingly notable dip from 11% to 7.6% this season. Falter has thrown plenty of strikes and likely been a bit unlucky to carry a 58.1% strand rate over his first eight outings. He’s given up seven home runs, though — an issue throughout his career — and seen the marked drop in whiffs.
Falter gave up six runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Giants last night. They were all technically unearned because they came with two outs in an inning in which Bryson Stott had committed an error, but Falter allowed eight hits (including a longball) out of 22 batters faced. That was enough for the Phils to go in a different direction for the time being.
Suárez is back from the injured list to take the fourth rotation spot. Philadelphia has been using Strahm out of the bullpen of late despite his strong start to the year out of the rotation. Manager Rob Thomson said this evening that Strahm was not an option to start Sunday against the Cubs, when Falter’s turn through the rotation will come up (via Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer). He could work multiple innings behind an opener or as part of a bullpen game, while Thomson hinted the organization could also select the contract of a pitcher who is not currently on the 40-man roster.
I met his father Walter
Was he wearing a halter?
No but he was built like the rock of Gibraltar
Thank God !!!
With Falter optioned, does this mean Strahmboli goes back into the rotation? Uelman last started a game in AA back in 2021 and has only worked as a reliever since then. He seems more than alright in Lehigh Valley with a 1.04 ERA in 8.2 IP this year.
Guessing he’s got a loose limit on ip’s in ’23…..maybe 90 or so? So he is probably done in the rotation. Looks like a bullpen game of sorts on Sunday, unless they call up Sanchez?
He’s a 31 year old on a two year deal for a Dombro team. Strahm is getting ridden hard and put away wet. His job security is multitudes below in importance than the front office that hired him.
He was struggling mightily, but with all the injuries, what’s the best option? This bullpen has already been exhausted. They need another starter.
Only 40man options are Sanchez, Plassmeyer.
They also have UDFA Noah Skirrow in aaa, who’s tossing ok. Plus a near ready Nelson. A bullpen game burns at least 5 arms and no off day till the following Monday.
Nelson was placed on AAA injured list yesterday.
It’s probably Sanchez’s turn to get a chance unless they pull MadBum or someone off the trash heap.
One of those things where I was waiting for it to happen!
A kid who went to the same high school as Lonzo and LeMelo Ball coming out of Chino Hills
Bout damn time lol
Phillies pitching lol funny stuff
Phillies don’t seem to score runs when Falter’s on the mound. The Phillies have been outscored 35-19 in Falters starts and won only one his starts.
Scoring has been an issue all year, especially with runners in scoring position. Turner and Schwarber have been struggling.
Agreed Von, it has been and there should be no excuses made for the scoring or Falter. He’s abysmal. If anything I wonder if they bullpen until they can get a half decent pitcher up. Someone said yesterday that it could be Noah Song. But I guess now we wait and see.
Backup Catcher to the Backup Catcher
Last I heard, Song is on the IL. Go Navy! Beat Army!
Backup Catcher to the Backup Catcher
A name no one brings up as a possible fifth SP is Jeff Hoffman. A one time #1 draft pick by the Blue Jays, he was supposedly the big get in the Tulo trade with the Rockies. Never panned out as a SP at Coors.
He’s probably not stretched out enough at this time to pitch deeply into a game, but he wouldn’t be the first former hot prospect to excel after initial failings.
However, the most likely scenario is Sanchez being recalled. But if the bullpen isn’t taxed Friday and Saturday vs. the Cubbies, then they’ll probably go the bullpen route.
But we Phillies fans see bigger problems with this team than who will eventually slot in as our fifth starter. To wit, lots of pressure on a player who signs a big contract (See Castellanos 2022). Thus, I’m hoping Turner’s first season in Philly isn’t gonna mirror Lindor’s first year in New York.
Next, our defense is less than stellar, especially in LF and RF.
Finally, though a lot of fans were hoping Hoskins would get traded in the off-season, it’s pretty clear this team misses his bat in the middle of line up each day. Thirty HR guys don’t grow on trees! Like the old Ral Donner hit from the ’50s warned us, “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until You Lose It”.
The Phillies starting pitching has been a mess from the start, Relied far too much on Painter’s presence(rush job). They have no depth which is clearly apparent now! O’s have five guys at Norfolk that could fill their 4th-5th starter role!
Ironically, the Phillies could use Irvin back now.
He went into the room where his sister lived
And then he paid a visit to his brother
And then he, he walked on down the hallway
And he came to a door
And he looked inside
The Walker signing looked bad at the start, but at this point it’s aging like a fine milk.
I’m holding onto hope that the guys who are slumping start playing league average baseball at least.
I didn’t like the signing, but theoretically he should be a find 4th starter, but he’s been horrific.
Phils got Phisted by Cubs.
Really royally reamed.