Jim Thome hasn’t played an inning at first base since 2007, when he started one game for the White Sox, but yesterday the 41-year-old designated hitter played half a game there and managed to avoid any injuries.
He won’t be replacing Ryan Howard, but the Phillies are trying to at least prepare Thome for occasional duty at first base and so far he seems optimistic about his body holding up.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that Thome will likely put a glove on again tomorrow or Wednesday and he’s been taking plenty of reps at first base in practice.
Last time he started more than a handful of games at first base in a season? Way back in 2005, which also happens to be the final year of his first go-around with the Phillies.
It’s been one issue after the next for Indians reliever Andrew Miller, and on Saturday, the left-hander landed back on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation. According to comments made by club manager Terry Francona, Miller’s knee has been a problem since the start of the year. The team has yet to determine a concrete timetable for his return to the bullpen.
Miller, 33, hasn’t looked like his usual sub-2.00 ERA, 2.0+ fWAR self this season, though he paired a 4.40 ERA and 6.3 BB/9 with an impressive 14.4 SO/9 across his first 14 1/3 innings. A left hamstring strain and minor back injury hampered his effectiveness on the mound, though this appears to be a more serious issue — especially given the five weeks he spent recovering from a tendon injury in his right knee last year.
In corresponding moves, the Indians designated right-hander Oliver Drake for assignment and recalled Triple-A right-handers Ben Taylor and Evan Marshall. Taylor, 25, was working on a 3.63 ERA, 1.0 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 through 17 1/3 innings in Triple-A Columbus, while 28-year-old Marshall turned in a terrific 0.77 ERA, 0.8 BB/9 and 6.9 SO/9 over his first 11 2/3 innings. Neither reliever has pitched more than a handful of innings at the big league level in 2018.