Anderson gets surprise callup, makes debut

Righty optioned back to Minors after 7-1 loss to Angels

August 2nd, 2017

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- thought about everything that had happened to him in the past 36 hours and smiled.

"I can't wait to do it again," Anderson said.

Maybe it will last longer next time. Anderson, 23, got promoted from Double-A Reading on Monday, flew cross country to join the Phillies on Tuesday and made his Major League debut later that night in the eighth inning of a 7-1 loss to the Angels at Angel Stadium. He allowed two hits and one unearned run, but he struck out on a 2-2 cutter to end the inning.

The Phillies optioned Anderson and outfielder after the game. could be recalled Wednesday to take Anderson's place. is expected to be activated from the DL.

"It was a rush," Anderson said. "It was fun. I mean, I'm glad I got in and struck out Mike Trout."

Anderson threw a first-pitch curveball over Trout's head. The pitch got away.

"I was like, 'Oh, boy, here we go,'" said Anderson, whose parents and girlfriend drove from Reno, Nev., to watch him pitch. "It was just all adrenaline."

Anderson, the Phillies' No. 25 prospect, according to, went 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA in 19 starts with Reading. The Phillies placed him on the 40-man roster in the offseason, following a strong 2016, because he had a good chance to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft. That was following Tommy John surgery April 2, 2015.

The Phillies lost Pat Neshek and in the past week, leaving the bullpen in a state of flux. Only and seem to have concrete roles, with the pair pitching in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. After that, there are right-handers Jr., Jesen Therrien and possibly Ramos, if he is recalled Wednesday; and left-handers and .

The lack of experience has Phillies manager Pete Mackanin in a pickle. Neris and Garcia were unavailable Tuesday after pitching three consecutive days. 

But the absence of Neshek and Benoit also results in open auditions for the Phillies' relievers the rest of the season. Triple-A right-hander figure to be back at some point, too.

Anybody want to make themselves a frontrunner for the 2018 bullpen? Please step up.

"That's why I started using Milner and Morgan in those type of roles," Mackanin said. "That is important for me to do. Otherwise, why are they here? I don't think we're going to win the pennant, but you never know. I have to find out if they can be a piece."

But what a couple days for Anderson. He finished last in a golf tournament Monday afternoon before joining more than a dozen of his Reading teammates for dinner at a barbecue joint in Reading, Pa.

Fightin Phils manager Greg Legg called the group and asked to speak to Anderson. The phone instead got passed to Drew Stankiewicz, who is a Reading infielder. Legg realized he had the wrong Drew on the phone and asked for Anderson. He told Anderson that he had been promoted to the Phillies to replace Benoit, whom they traded Monday to the Pirates for Class A right-hander Seth McGarry.

"We knew another starter was coming so everyone was like, 'Is someone going to Lehigh [Valley?]," Anderson said. "Everyone was looking at me."


"No, I'm going to The Show!" he said.