Watch CBS News

Spencer Turnbull to pitch from bullpen vs. Blue Jays; Philadelphia Phillies significantly change lineup for opener

CBS News Live
CBS News Philadelphia Live

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Rob Thomson has a plan for Cristopher Sanchez and Spencer Turnbull prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays. He wouldn't reveal the full extent of said plan. 

Regardless of how well Sanchez pitches, Turnbull will pitch in Tuesday's opener. 

"I'm not gonna tell you when," Thomson said with a smile. "We got a plan." 

Sanchez will start Tuesday as he remains in the starting rotation. Turnbull was sent to the bullpen to make room for Taijuan Walker after his return from the injured list, as the Phillies somewhat went with a six-man rotation for a week while they figured out the next step for both Sanchez and Turnbull.

On what would have been Turnbull's turn to start, he was notified last week he was making the move to the bullpen. The Phillies want to manage Turnbull's innings, as he has thrown 32.1 innings this season -- one more inning than he threw all of last season. Turnbull has thrown just 81 innings over the last three years, so this move to the bullpen is a way to manage those innings going forward. 

The Phillies may also be looking to manage Sanchez, who has a 3.68 ERA in six starts this season. Sanchez has thrown over 100 innings in season one (149.0 between Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley last season), so the Phillies could be looking to manage that workload as well. He's also gone five innings or less in four of his six starts and has a 5.63 ERA over his last two starts (8 IP, 5 ER, 4 K, 5 BB).

Thomson wouldn't say if Sanchez and Turnbull would piggyback, but the option is there. 

"If we were to piggyback, [Turnbull] would be pitching every fifth day," Thompson said. "But...that doesn't necessarily mean we're gonna piggyback. If we did, that's what we'd do."

"He's never gone back-to-back, so if he were to pitch an inning, he'd have to have a day off. If he pitched two, he'd probably have two days off -- that type of thing. Three innings or more, he's probably four days off." 

Turnbull could pitch multiple innings on Tuesday, pending how long Sanchez goes.

Phillies change lineup against Blue Jays

The Phillies went with a different lineup Tuesday than usual, part of that has to do with playing 19 games in a 20-day stretch (which ends Wednesday). Here are the notable changes:

  • Whit Merrifield will play left field and bat second
  • Nick Castellanos hits cleanup
  • Brandon Marsh will play center field and hit fifth
  • Edmundo Sosa is back to shortstop and Bryson Stott back to second base
  • Kody Clemens at third base and hitting eighth
  • Garrett Stubbs catching for J.T. Realmuto and hitting ninth 

Stubbs caught Sanchez frequently last season and has caught Turnbull in his starts this year. With Turnbull pitching Tuesday after Sanchez, Stubbs catching was a no-brainer. Thomson wanted to get Merrifield some time in the outfield, allowing Stott to head back to second and Sosa to assume shortstop for the third time in four games since Trea Turner went on the 10-day injured list. 

Thomson said Alec Bohm is fine, as Bohm gets a day off after his 18-game hitting streak ended Monday. Clemens has played 15 games in his career at third base. This will be the first time he's played third for the Phillies. 

"The reason he hasn't played a lot of third base is because we wanted him playing a lot of outfield," Thomson said. "He's comfortable playing there."

Castellanos gets the shot at cleanup after reaching base all four times in Monday's win over the San Francisco Giants. Castellanos also had a double in the win, finishing 2-for-2 with an RBI. He's hitting .318 with an OPS of .875 over the last seven days. 

"I thought his bats were really good (yesterday)," Thomson said. "He hit a ball hard the day before, but yeah I think his at-bats were better. I thought he didn't chase at all yesterday, so that was good." 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.