CHICAGO - The question of whether Cole Irvin would make his next start was asked after the rookie lefty was hit hard by the Chicago Cubs in a 8-4 loss on Wednesday night. In that post-game moment, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said the organization needed more time to make a decision.
It didn't need that much time.
The team on Thursday morning sent Irvin back to Triple A and recalled Drew Anderson. Anderson gives the Phils an extra arm in the bullpen until they plot their next move. Because of an off day on Monday, the Phils can go with four starters until a week from Saturday when they'd need a fifth starter in Los Angeles. By that time, Vince Velasquez will be ready to come off the injured list. Nick Pivetta or Enyel De Los Santos could also get that start. Irvin needs to spend 10 days in the minors before being recalled so he would not be a candidate because that would be his 10th day.
In short, the Phils have plenty of time to plot strategy. They could even remain on a five-man rotation and add Velasquez or Pivetta for Tuesday's start. By waiting, however, they could get a look at Velasquez a time or two in the bullpen before putting him back in the rotation. The bullpen remains a possibility for Velasquez. That situation was explored here.
Irvin was called up when Velasquez went on the IL with a sore elbow two weeks ago. He made three starts, winning his first two with a combined 13 innings of five-run ball. He lasted just 4 2/3 innings against the Cubs on Wednesday and was tagged for a three-run homer and a grand slam.
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