Notes: Revamped 'pen; JoJo's solid debut

Bohm gets day off; Harper beating out bunts

August 22nd, 2020

Phillies manager Joe Girardi got a few more reliable options in his bullpen on Saturday.

Right-handers Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree and David Hale were added to the Phillies’ 28-man roster before Saturday night’s game against the Braves at Truist Park in Atlanta. Philadelphia acquired Workman and Hembree on Friday night in a trade with the Red Sox. They acquired Hale on Friday afternoon in a trade with the Yankees. The Phillies parted with right-hander Nick Pivetta and pitching prospects Connor Seabold and Addison Russ, because they desperately needed to improve a bullpen that had a 7.97 ERA through 22 games.

Workman will pitch in the late innings for the Phillies. He served as Boston’s closer for much of the past two years.

Girardi said he will use Hembree and Hale at any point.

The Phillies selected Workman, 32, in the third round of the 2007 MLB Draft, but he did not sign and instead played at the University of Texas. The Red Sox selected him in the second round in 2010.

“I knew being traded was a possibility just given the way the season was unfolding,” Workman said. “I wasn’t completely caught off guard, but at the same I didn’t know that I would be traded yesterday. … Lately, I feel like I’ve been throwing the ball pretty well. I’ve kind of settled in and hit a little comfort zone, so I’m excited to get started here.”

Asked if he prefers to be a closer, Workman said, “Whenever I’m called upon, I want to throw the ball as well as I can. Whatever inning or role that [Girardi] sees fit.”

To make room for Workman, Hembree and Hale on the roster, the Phillies optioned right-hander Connor Brogdon and left-hander Cole Irvin to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and designated right-hander Deolis Guerra for assignment. The Phils also placed outfielder Jay Bruce on the 10-day injured list with a quadriceps injury. They activated outfielder Adam Haseley from the injured list to take his place.

“He just felt it wasn’t getting better doing what he was doing,” Girardi said about Bruce. “He was probably 60 percent when it came to running and we need to knock it out so he can be a complete player for us.”

What a debut
Phillies left-hander JoJo Romero struck out the side in his big league debut Friday. He struck out Adam Duvall on three pitches to get the inning started.

“It was everything I thought of, but I didn’t think it would go that way, as well, at the same time,” Romero said. “It was pretty awesome. A little bit of nerves, but at the same time, locked in and pretty focused. Just an exciting time.”

Romero said his family back home in California streamed his appearance live on Facebook, so after the game, he got to see everybody’s reactions as he made his way through the Braves lineup.

“It made last night really special,” Romero said.

Bohm takes a break
Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm committed two errors in the fifth inning on Friday. They contributed to a seven-run inning for Atlanta. Bohm’s defense at third has always been an issue, which has some baseball insiders believing that he will ultimately end up at first base. He has three errors in nine games.

Bohm did not start at third base on Saturday. Jean Segura got the nod at the hot corner instead.

“He is a work in progress who has made huge strides since we got him a couple years ago,” Girardi said of Bohm. “He’s not a finished product, like a lot of other players. He’s here and he will be back in there tomorrow.”

Bryce bunts
Bryce Harper has bunted for two hits in five attempts in 86 plate appearances this season. He had a career-high nine bunt attempts in 395 plate appearances in 2014.

“He’s probably bunted more this year because of how well J.T. [Realmuto] has swung it behind him,” Girardi said. “He understands that whenever you can get multiple people on base, you have a chance to score multiple runs. For the most part, the decision-making has been, really, pretty good when he’s done it. I kind of leave it up to him sometimes. It’s how a guy feels in the box. That’s one thing I can’t determine. Do you see this [pitcher]? Do you not see this guy? Do you feel comfortable in the box today? I’ve kind of left it up to him. There are times when he feels it might be the best way to get on.”