Jose Contreras is back in the Phillies’ bullpen eight months after undergoing elbow surgery that potentially could have ended the 40-year-old’s career last September.
It looked like Contreras’ return might be delayed when his first rehab appearance was an ugly one, but he quickly got on track in the minors and also proved that he was able to throw on back-to-back days.
Charlie Manuel told Paul Hagen of MLB.com that he plans to leave Chad Qualls in the primary right-handed setup man role for now and work Contreras back into the bullpen mix slowly, but as Contreras put it: “My health is good and my arm is good and I can help the team.”
The Red Sox-Yankees game scheduled for this afternoon has been moved to this evening because of weather, but there are still happenings in the Bronx: the Yankees have called up top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield.
Sheffield, 22, is the Yankees’ highest-ranked prospect, per MLB Pipeline. The lefty was acquired in the Andrew Miller deal back in 2016. In 2018 he made the jump from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with a cumulative 7-6 record in 20 starts and a 2.87 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 116 innings.
The Yankees reportedly plan is to keep Sheffield in the bullpen for the time being, with his late season shift to a relief role at Scranton designed to get him used to helping out for the Yankees stretch run and, possibly, a playoff run. He’ll likely have a shot at the Yankees’ rotation next spring.