ANAHEIM, Calif. — The dozen double-A Reading players who were gathered Monday night at a large table at Smokey Bones knew something was happening. A starting pitcher was joining them from high-A Clearwater. Then, when manager Greg Legg called righthander Tyler Viza and asked to talk to "Drew," Viza handed the phone to infielder Drew Stankiewicz. Wrong Drew.
He passed the phone to Drew Anderson.
"Everyone was looking at me," Anderson said.
Legg revealed to Anderson that he was promoted to the majors. He had a flight Tuesday morning to California. Anderson thanked him. He hung up the phone.
"Lehigh?" his teammates asked, assuming Anderson was moving up one level, to triple A.
"No," Anderson said, "I'm going to The Show!"
The 23-year-old righthander, a former 21st-round pick and a Tommy John surgery survivor, spent one day in the majors. He pitched the eighth inning of a 7-1 Phillies loss. His first career strikeout victim was Mike Trout. He allowed two runs, one earned, and was optioned back to Reading after the game.
But he'll always have that strikeout.
"It was a rush," Anderson said. "It was fun."
The Phillies' bullpen is absent its two veteran pitchers, both traded in the last week. It was without its two trusted late-inning relievers, who had been overused. So, for an extra bullpen arm, the Phillies dipped into Reading's rotation.
Anderson, who is on the 40-man roster, assumed Joaquin Benoit's vacated spot in the bullpen. He is in his first full season since undergoing surgery in April 2015. He pitched just 70 innings in 2016, enough to convince the Phillies he should be added to the 40-man roster. Anderson has logged 95 2/3 innings with Reading in 2017. He has a 3.76 ERA in 19 starts.
He will be replaced Wednesday on the roster by righthander Edubray Ramos. Anderson, for his one day in the majors, earned a cool $2,923.50. His parents and girlfriend drove eight hours from Nevada and saw him pitch at Angel Stadium.
Now, it's back to the Eastern League.
"You know what?" Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "The runs that scored aside, he struck out one of the best players — arguably the best player in baseball. I was thrilled that he did that. He had a smile on his face."
Anderson's first pitch to Trout was a curveball that sailed over the imposing hitter's head. "I started to settle down a little bit, but it was all adrenaline," Anderson said. He threw a fastball and a curveball for two called strikes. Then, he fired a 94-mph fastball that Trout foul tipped into catcher Andrew Knapp's mitt for strike three.
Anderson was the 11th Phillies player to make his major-league debut in 2017. The modern franchise record is 15 debuts in the 1996 season.
He flew across the country Tuesday to meet the Phillies. He'll have another long day of travel Wednesday.
"It was a good experience," Anderson said. "I can't wait to do it again."
The Phillies optioned outfielder Cameron Perkins to triple A after Tuesday's loss. Daniel Nava is eligible to be activated from the disabled list Wednesday, and all signs point to that happening. "It's feeling good," Nava said of his strained left hamstring. Nava, 34, is a good bet to find a new home in August through a waiver trade. … Jake Thompson will make his second start Wednesday opposite J.C. Ramirez, the former Phillies pitcher who was once traded for Cliff Lee.