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Pivetta, Pirela join Phils; Franco to follow

@ToddZolecki
September 3, 2019

CINCINNATI -- The Phillies promoted Nick Pivetta and Jose Pirela from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday. Maikel Franco is scheduled to join Philadelphia on Thursday, which will put 34 players on the active roster. Roman Quinn (strained right groin), Juan Nicasio (right rotator cuff tendinitis) and Edubray Ramos (right biceps

CINCINNATI -- The Phillies promoted Nick Pivetta and Jose Pirela from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday. Maikel Franco is scheduled to join Philadelphia on Thursday, which will put 34 players on the active roster.

Roman Quinn (strained right groin), Juan Nicasio (right rotator cuff tendinitis) and Edubray Ramos (right biceps tendinitis) could also rejoin the Phils at some point down the stretch, if they recover from their respective injuries.

Is anybody else expected to get a callup to the Majors before the end of the month?

“No, but I wouldn’t rule it out,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said before Tuesday night’s game against the Reds at Great American Ball Park.

Double-A Reading right-hander Spencer Howard sounds unlikely to join the Phils, based on Kapler’s comments. The 23-year-old Howard is the organization’s No. 4 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He is 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA in six starts with Reading after going 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA in seven starts earlier this season with Class A Clearwater. Howard is an intriguing consideration for a team that is short on consistent, quality pitching.

Howard is scheduled to pitch in the Arizona Fall League, but that does not preclude the Phillies from changing their mind about using him in September.

As for Pivetta, he will return to the bullpen. He is 0-2 with a 4.12 ERA in 11 relief appearances this season, compared to 4-4 with a 5.74 ERA in 13 starts. Pirela will be another pinch-hit option, as will Franco upon his arrival.

“As long as Jean Segura is our shortstop, Scott Kingery is playing third base and Adam Haseley is productive in center field, I think Maikel is going to be a bat off the bench for us,” Kapler said.

That holds true even against left-handed pitching, because Franco has a .679 OPS in 101 plate appearances against lefties this season. Sean Rodriguez, meanwhile, has an .843 OPS in 62 plate appearances against lefties.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook .