WASHINGTON -- Brewers outfield prospect Brett Phillips was headed back to the Minor Leagues on Thursday after a successful second stint in the Majors.
"I felt a lot more comfortable, and hopefully the next time, I'll feel even more comfortable," said Phillips, No. 12 on MLBPipeline.com's list of the top Brewers prospects. "But I have to go take care of business down in Triple-A if I want there to be a next time. That's what I'm going to do."
Phillips played solid center field while posting an .840 OPS and hitting his first two Major League home runs in 28 plate appearances during his second stint in the Majors. Milwaukee optioned him back to Colorado Springs because it needed a 25-man roster spot for newly acquired reliever Anthony Swarzak, who was in uniform for the Brewers' series finale at Nationals Park.
Phillips' departure further cleared playing time for No. 1 prospect Lewis Brinson, who rejoined the team Wednesday and hit his first Major League home run.
"Having that first moment, hopefully, and that first home run for Lewis, it makes you exhale a little bit. I think it happened for Brent," manager Craig Counsell said. "I told [Phillips], his second time up, 'You showed us something that we can be excited about.'
"It was a good stay for him, and a productive stay."
How difficult was it to leave a team fighting for first place, particularly ahead of a huge homestand against the division-rival Cubs and Cardinals?
"It's tough, because these guys are grinding and I was grinding with them," Phillips said. "I know each and every one of these guys is doing what they can to win. It's just been a good atmosphere, and I'm looking forward to coming back and helping these guys win."
Progress for Anderson
A day after throwing from the mound for the first time since sustaining a left oblique strain in late June, right-hander Chase Anderson gave a thumbs-up on Thursday morning. He threw 25 pitches in the light exercise, which was not as intense as a proper bullpen session.
His next step was unclear, Anderson said, but the Brewers are hopeful that he will be back in pitching shape near the front end of the original six-to-eight week prognosis. If that is the case, he could be on a Minor League rehab assignment by the middle of August.
Anderson was 6-2 with a 2.89 ERA in 16 starts before the injury.