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April 04, 2023

Phillies' bullpen hoping for shakeup with new roster moves

With the Phillies, and their bullpen, off to a brutal start to begin 2023, prospect McKinley Moore is getting his first big-league look while Yunior Marte goes down to Lehigh Valley.

It's still very early, but nonetheless, it's been a brutal start to the year for the Phillies, especially for what was projected to be a bolstered bullpen. 

And looking for a spark, or at least immediately, to maybe just stop the bleeding, the club has already made a move.

Righthander Yunior Marte has been optioned down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and fellow righthander McKinley Moore is getting the call up, with outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz being designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. 

Marte, 28, was acquired from the Giants over the winter as an unproven but low-cost arm with potential, and two remaining minor-league options. He impressed through the spring with a 2.61 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 10 appearances to crack the Phillies' Opening Day roster, but so far, the games that count haven't been anywhere near as smooth. 

Against Texas on Saturday, he was tagged for a homer and two-earned runs in 0.2 innings of work during a 16-3 Phillies loss, then against the Yankees in Monday night's 8-1 defeat, walked three and surrendered four earned runs in just a third of an inning. 

Moore also impressed during the spring, to the tune of an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.64 with 11 strikeouts over nine appearances, which didn't get him on the team initially, but kept him on the radar. 

He'll be getting his first big-league look now.

The 24-year-old, originally a 14th-round draft pick by the White Sox back in 2019 and acquired through the Adam Haseley trade, registered a 4-5 record with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP in 49.2 innings with Double-A Reading last season. He began the 2023 campaign with the IronPigs up in Triple-A out of camp. 

The Phillies will face the Yankees again Tuesday night up in the Bronx in Game 2 of a three-game set. Their defense of the NL pennant is off to a frustrating 0-4 start so far, where not much of anything has gone right. They've been outscored 37-12 through their first five games and, among a host of other problems, their bullpen has already been tagged for 21 runs alone.

MORE: Phillies' 0-4 start is no big deal... right?

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