The Phillies announced Friday that they’ve reinstated righty Connor Brogdon from the Covid-related injured list and lefty JoJo Romero from the 60-day injured list. That necessitated a pair of 40-man moves. Infielder Will Toffey outright to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after clearing waivers, while righty Hans Crouse was recalled from Lehigh Valley and immediately placed on the Major League 60-day injured list. Lefty Cristopher Sanchez was optioned to Lehigh Valley to create additional space on the active roster.
Brogdon, 27, has been on the Covid list since late June but been one of the team’s better relievers when on the field. Through 17 2/3 innings this season, he’s notched a tidy 2.04 ERA with a sizable 28.8% strikeout rate against a much better-than-average 6.8% walk rate. Since making his debut with the Phils back in 2020, he’s totaled 86 1/3 frames with a 3.22 ERA, an average fastball of 95.9 mph and above-average strikeout and walk rates.
Romero, meanwhile, has yet to pitch in the Majors this season due to an elbow injury. The 25-year-old hasn’t had much MLB success to this point (7.32 ERA in 2020-21), but he only has 19 2/3 innings under his belt in the big leagues. Like Brogdon, Romero averages better than 95 mph with his heater. He just wrapped up a minor league rehab assignment that saw him post a 1.54 ERA and 15-to-2 K/BB ratio through 11 2/3 innings across four minor league levels, topping out with 3 2/3 scoreless frames in Triple-A.
Losing his spot on the 40-man roster is the 27-year-old Toffey, who didn’t appear in a game before being passed through waivers and sent back down. The journeyman infielder would’ve been making his MLB debut had he gotten into a game. A 2017 fourth-round pick by the A’s, Toffey is already in his fourth organization and has batted .266/.385/.438 in 192 plate appearances while playing primarily third base so far in Triple-A this season.
As for Crouse, he’s been on the minor league injured list since April due to tendinitis in his right biceps. Today’s move is quite beneficial for him, as he’ll now continue rehabbing that injury while being paid at the prorated Major League minimum and acquire Major League service time along the way. As Matt Gelb of The Athletic rightly points out, the Phillies have also done this with lefty Damon Jones and right-hander James McArthur. Most clubs shy away from going this route, but the Phils have opted to give service time and big league pay to a trio of pitchers rather than subtract elsewhere on the roster as the need for space arises.