Healthy Stutes ready after being called up

slideshow-052413-phillies-stutes-uspresswire.jpg

Healthy Stutes ready after being called up

WASHINGTON -- The Phillies’ reconfigured bullpen added another arm for Friday’s game at Nationals Park when right-hander Michael Stutes joined the club.

For Stutes, who missed most of the 2012 season while recovering from shoulder surgery, the return to the big leagues might have seemed like it took forever. After opening the season at Triple A Lehigh Valley where he posted a 3.33 ERA in 20 games covering 27 innings, Stutes got enough work under his belt to earn the call up.

Given that the Phillies’ middle relievers have struggled this season, Stutes’ effectiveness at Triple A was enough. Over his last 10 games, Stutes allowed one run in 14 1/3 innings with 14 strikeouts. He also gave up just three walks and eight hits over that span and picked up a five-out save against Norfolk last Friday.

Looks like Stutes has his strength back.

“This is my first time coming off an injury, first time being injured, so I don’t know of the difference if you go right back to where you were or take a step back and try to work your way back to where you were,” Stutes said before Friday’s game against the Nationals. “I don’t have anything to base that on. I feel like I’m in a good place now, so hopefully whatever steps I took I’m ready to go now.”

Stutes returns with strong command of his fastball and a reworked slider. In fact, Triple A manager Dave Brundage said Stutes’ stuff was “sneaky.” As a reliever Stutes hasn’t been overpowering, but he’s been very difficult to hit.

Could Stutes’ effectiveness for Lehigh Valley be from his slider?

“I changed my grip on it,” Stutes said. “It has a slightly different spin out of my hand. It should be back up to where it was, being more around 85-ish [mph], instead of down toward 77, which is where it was toward the end of 2011. That’s not really keeping them honest. That’s not really doing anything for us, me throwing at 77.”

Stutes said he hasn’t been told anything about his role with the Phillies. However, one can make the assumption that he will get some of the innings that Raul Valdes and Phillippe Aumont had before they were sent back to Triple A.

Adams to return Sunday
Set-up man Mike Adams will join the Phillies for Sunday’s game when he is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list.

The right-hander had been out with a mild strain in the middle of his back suffered during batting practice in Arizona on May 10.

According to assistant general manager Scott Proefrock, Adams threw a bullpen session for pitching coach Rich Dubee on Wednesday and threw again on Friday.

In 17 outings this season, Adams has a 3.00 ERA. He's struck out 19 and walked six in 15 innings. Thirteen of his 17 outings have been scoreless.

Tonight's lineup: Nick Williams, J.P. Crawford sit vs. lefty

social_phillies_tonights_lineup_v2.jpg

Tonight's lineup: Nick Williams, J.P. Crawford sit vs. lefty

With the Phillies facing lefty Alex Wood tonight, Tommy Joseph gets a rare start at first base.

It's Joseph's third start in the Phillies' last 12 games. He's become a forgotten man with the Phils' outfield fully healthy and Rhys Hoskins thriving at first base.

Pete Mackanin is using the matchup with a southpaw as a reason to get Joseph in the mix. Joseph has actually been dreadful this season against lefties, hitting just .197/.272/.410 in 135 plate appearances.

J.P. Crawford and Nick Williams have the night off.

Andrew Knapp is behind the plate to catch his second game since returning from a six-week DL stint.

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Rhys Hoskins, LF
5. Aaron Altherr, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Tommy Joseph, 1B
8. Andrew Knapp, C
9. Jake Thompson, P

Phillies-Dodgers thoughts: Rhys Hoskins refuses to go into a slump

usa-rhys-hoskins-phillies-dodgers.jpg
USA Today Images

Phillies-Dodgers thoughts: Rhys Hoskins refuses to go into a slump

Phillies (60-91) vs. Dodgers (96-55)
7:05 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App

Well, this series hasn't gone as planned.

Despite facing Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish, the Phillies have beaten the Dodgers on back-to-back nights to force at least a split. 

For L.A., it continues a miserable four-week stretch. The Dodgers were 91-36 on Aug. 25 and have gone 4-19 since.

The Phillies, meanwhile, are 31-33 since the All-Star break and 17-14 since Aug. 6.

More on tonight's game and the series in general:

• Last night was yet another fantastic game for Rhys Hoskins, who hit the game-deciding three-run double, drove in four runs in all and reached base three times. 

It appeared Hoskins was going into a slump after he went 0 for 11 with six strikeouts against the Athletics this past weekend, but he's responded by reaching base in five of seven plate appearances against the Dodgers. 

Through 39 games, Hoskins has hit .299/.428/.739 with five doubles, 18 homers and 43 RBIs. He has 29 walks and 33 strikeouts.

Odubel Herrera hit his 40th double of the season last night, becoming the first Phillie since Jayson Werth in 2010 to reach 40. 

The Phils had just one player hit 40 doubles in 2008 (Chase Utley), 2009 (Jimmy Rollins) and 2010 (Werth) and then none from 2011-16.

• Another scoreless inning last night from Luis Garcia, who's allowed one run in his last 18 appearances and has a 2.43 ERA in 61 games.

Nick Williams picked up his 11th infield single of the season last night. That kind of speed will allow him to maintain a higher batting average on balls in play than most players (see story).

• The Phillies face left-hander Alex Wood, who's had a career year. Wood is 15-3 with a 2.69 ERA in 140⅓ innings this season, with 144 strikeouts, 37 walks and just 13 home runs allowed. 

Lefties and righties alike have struggled against Wood, but he's been much more hittable since the All-Star break. Wood had a 1.56 ERA in the first half and has a 4.07 ERA since.

In his last start, Wood shut out the Nationals over six innings with eight strikeouts. In his previous three starts, he allowed 12 runs and six homers in 17 innings.

• Two Phillies, in particular, have seen Wood well: Freddy Galvis is 7 for 13 with a double; Cesar Hernandez is 5 for 11 with a double and three walks. 

Jake Thompson starts for the Phillies. He's 2-2 with a 4.46 ERA in nine games (six starts). He put 10 Marlins on base in 5⅓ innings in his last start but didn't allow a run.

• The Phillies would need to go 2-9 or worse the rest of the way to reach 100 losses. If the season ended today they'd pick second in the 2018 draft. The Giants are 1½ games worse.