Looking to add depth to a bullpen that’s been hit hard by injuries this season, the Phillies signed Aaron Heilman to a minor league contract on Thursday, CSNPhilly’s Jim Salisbury reports. He’ll step into a Triple-A Lehigh Valley relief corps that just lost Jason Grilli to the Pirates.
Heilman was cut by the Diamondbacks after amassing a 6.81 ERA in 35 1/3 innings this season. The stats, however, say he wasn’t nearly that bad. He had 33 strikeouts versus just 11 walks, but he was doomed by giving up eight homers, which is twice as many as one would have expected based on his career rate.
Heilman’s velocity is down a bit this year, but he’s continued to get plenty of swings and misses. He’s still a decent enough bet as a sixth- and seventh-inning guy, and the Phillies might want to go ahead and release Danys Baez to make room for him after he gets a few innings under his belt.
The Phillies are playing the Mariners this afternoon. In the third inning, Phillies left fielder Aaron Altherr hit a three-run homer. Neat! Even neater, though, is that Altherr did that yesterday too. And the day before.
It’s not too common for guys to it three-run homers three games in a row. It’s the first time a Phillies player has done it since Mike Schmidt did in 1981. I couldn’t immediately find the all-time record for most three-run home run games in a row, but it can’t be much more than three, right?
Either way, a nice week for Altherr. Those three dingers. Eight extra-base hits in his last eight games. At the moment he’s hitting .347/.434/.708 and is on a 30-homer, 100-RBI pace.
That Ruben Amaro sure knew what he was doin’ when he was building this team, eh?
The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club placed outfielder Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list with a right abdominal strain, retroactive to April 16. The Phillies called up pitcher Mark Leiter from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Kendrick, 33, sustained the injury over the weekend attempting to make a diving catch. The veteran was acquired by the Phillies from the Dodgers in November and is in the last year of his two-year, $20 million contract. Kendrick was performing well for the Phillies, batting .333/.395/.487 with four doubles and a triple with five RBI in 43 plate appearances.
Aaron Altherr, Daniel Nava, and Brock Stassi are all candidates to get increased playing time while Kendrick is out.
Leiter, 26, yielded just one run in 5 1/3 innings at Triple-A. He’ll likely work in low- and medium-leverage situations for the Phillies.