Phillies Notes: Diekman thrilled by call-up
Jake Diekman was clearly enjoying the atmosphere in his new environment. On a day where the Phillies made several personnel moves, among the more interesting is the arrival of Diekman, a 25-year-old lefthander recalled from triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Jake Diekman was clearly enjoying the atmosphere in his new environment.
On a day where the Phillies made several personnel moves, among the more interesting is the arrival of Diekman, a 25-year-old lefthander recalled from triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Diekman was 1-0 with five saves and a 0.59 ERA in 13 games for the IronPigs. He had 22 strikeouts and three walks in 151/3 innings. During spring training he didn't allow an earned run in five appearances.
So Diekman has been on cloud nine since receiving the news that he would be called up to the big leagues.
"It was probably the best feeling I ever felt in my entire life," Diekman said hours before Friday's game at Citizens Bank Park against the San Diego Padres. "When I found out I called my dad right away, and making him cry was pretty cool."
Manager Charlie Manuel said that at first Diekman could be a situational lefthander.
"He's young, and has been pitching good, has a good arm and has big potential to be a real good bullpen piece," Manuel said.
Diekman was recalled after outfielder-first baseman Laynce Nix was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to May 10) with a left calf strain.
Nix is batting .326 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 22 games, including 10 starts. When asked if Nix could return in two weeks, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said he didn't know.
"He was pretty sore," Amaro said. "I know he's not real happy about being on the DL, neither am I, but we have to deal with it."
The Phillies also promoted infielder Hector Luna and lefthander Raul Valdes from Lehigh Valley.
Manuel said that Luna could play first or third base and in a pinch, the outfield. The 32-year-old Luna has played in 311 major-league games and was last in the majors in 2010 with the Marlins.
"It feels great to be here," said Luna, who batted .274 with one home run and 12 RBIs in 29 games for Lehigh Valley.
Valdes, 34, was 1-2 with a save and 3.86 ERA in 11 games for Lehigh Valley. He has appeared in 51 major-league games.
In other moves, righthander Justin De Fratus (right elbow sprain) was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
Righthander Brian Sanches, who was 0-1 with an 11.25 ERA in three relief appearances for the Phillies, was outrighted to Lehigh Valley.
The series of moves began when the Phillies optioned lefthander Joe Savery to Lehigh Valley after Wednesday's 10-6 loss to the New York Mets.
Many of the moves were not surprising after recently demoted Phillies relief pitcher Michael Schwimer tweeted on Thursday, "Congrats to Diekman, Valdes and Luna for being called up."
In other moves, the Phillies traded outfielder Scott Podsednik to Boston for cash and optioned catcher Erik Kratz to Lehigh Valley.
Manuel: Qualls is OK
Manuel shot down speculation that reliever Chad Qualls was injured. Qualls, who was wearing a brace in his knee on Wednesday, entered Friday having faced only one batter since May 5.
"I am not concerned about him," Manuel said. "Every now and then something may be kind of aching and hurting. . . . He wants to pitch."
Qualls pitched a scoreless ninth in Friday's victory.
More injury updates
First baseman Jim Thome, eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday from a lower back strain, likely won't be ready by then according to Amaro.
Chase Utley (chronically injured knees) took batting practice on Friday and Amaro said he did some running.
Since rejoining the team last Saturday, Utley hasn't been fielding grounders. When might that come?
"He will let us know," Amaro said.
Ryan Howard, in Clearwater rehabilitating from his left Achilles tendon surgery, is taking live batting practice.
"Ryan has been fine and progressing very well," Amaro said.