Saturday's doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves in the middle of 20 consecutive days without a day off means that the Phillies will need to add a starting pitcher. With Jonathan Pettibone injured, there was no obvious choice in AAA to take a spot. After many disasterous "bullpen games" in recent years, the Phillies are prepared to call up a starter for the double-header. Sean O'Sullivan will make his major league return for the Phillies Saturday.
Some are skeptical about this move. Jeff Schuler of the Allentown Morning Call was rather critical that O'Sullivan was picked over other options.
Typical. #Phillies go with SP with 5.40 ERA in last 3 starts and 4.99 last 7. Bypass someone with 2.17 in last 5 outings (7 ER, 29 IP)— jeff schuler (@jschulermc) June 26, 2014
@ryanlawrence21 yeah, kind of figured that too. still, they want us to believe can contend it looks like they're willing to give games away— jeff schuler (@jschulermc) June 27, 2014
The pitcher with seven earned runs over his last five outings would be Brad Lincoln, on the Phillies Opening Day roster as a reliever. Five of those seven runs did come in one game.
The reason the Phillies are going O'Sullivan is that they will send him back to AAA Lehigh Valley after the game. New collective bargaining agreement rules allow for a 26th player to be added to the roster. Someone like Lincoln would have to be designated for assignment. O'Sullivan could probably be designated and clear waivers just fine; the Phillies could simply option him to the minors and be able to recall him later.
Expect starting pitcher Jonathan Pettibone to be moved to the 60-day disabled list to make room for O'Sullivan. Pettibone is not expected back this season but is currently on the Phillies 40-man roster.
O'Sullivan was signed as a minor-league free agent in this past offseason. He has pitched in the major leagues with the Kansas City Royals, Anaheim Angels, and San Diego Padres. O'Sullivan is 10-16 with a 5.89 ERA in 50 major league games. In 2014, O'Sullivan is 3-6 with a 4.91 ERA for AAA Lehigh Valley in 15 games, all starts.
Sean O'Sullivan's younger brother Ryan pitches for the AA Reading Fightin' Phils.