MIAMI — In the NL East alone, the Phillies have to face dangerous lefty hitters such as Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy of the Nationals, Michael Conforto (Mets), Christian Yelich and Justin Bour (Marlins) and Freddie Freeman (Braves).
Next year, if everything breaks right, the Phillies will have some late-game weapons to battle those sluggers.
On Saturday, the Phillies claimed 28-year-old lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist on waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals. Siegrist, who is arbitration eligible in 2018 but under team control through 2019, joins two other lefties in the Phillies' 'pen: Adam Morgan and Hoby Milner.
“We (as an organization) have liked (Siegrist) for the past few years,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said before Saturday’s game against the Marlins. “I feel happy that we’ve got a chance to look at him.”
Drafted by the Cardinals in the 41st round in 2008, Siegrist has carved out a significant career as a set-up reliever.
He is 18-10 with a 3.43 ERA in five major-league seasons, all with St. Louis. He went 7-1 with a 2.17 ERA in 81 appearances in 2015. Last year, he went 6-3 with a 2.77 ERA in 67 games.
This year, though, he was 1-1 with a 4.98 ERA in 39 appearances. He landed on the disabled list in late June, missing nearly one month, and perhaps that heavy usage in 2015 and ’16 has caught up to Siegrist, whose velocity dropped this year amid a forearm injury, according to reports.
“I don’t know much about his injuries,” Mackanin said.
Siegrist hasn’t pitched since Aug. 3, but he did not allow a run in seven of his final eight appearances with the Cardinals.
“I’m anxious to see where he fits,” Mackanin said. “Those two guys (Morgan and Milner) have been outstanding — two nice pieces to have. And if we can add another (lefty reliever), that would be even better.”
Here are some more Phillies notes beyond the Siegrist acquisition:
• RHP Jerad Eickhoff’s season ended officially Saturday when the Phillies placed him on the 60-day disabled list. Eickhoff has been out since Aug. 30 because of nerve irritation and numbness in his right hand.
“It was a pretty clean image,” Mackanin said of the MRI Eickhoff had Friday, “nothing to be overly concerned about.”
Eickhoff, 27, was on the rise in 2016, going 11-14 with a 3.65 ERA in 197 1/3 innings. This year, though, he finished 4-8 with a 4.71 ERA in 128 innings, and Mackanin indicated Eickhoff will have to battle for a job in the rotation once the spring of 2018 arrives.
“He’s a candidate,” Mackanin said of Eickhoff, who was on the disabled list twice this year. “I’d like to think he would be because he was solid for us last year.”
• RHP Jake Thompson will be recalled from Triple A Lehigh Valley so he can start against the Marlins on Sunday. The 23-year-old rookie is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA for the Phillies this year, making six appearances, including three starts.
Thompson went 5-14 with a 5.25 ERA and a 1.546 WHIP in 22 starts at Lehigh Valley this year.
“He didn’t have a very good season at Triple A,” Mackanin said. “But he has pitched relatively well for us the couple of times he’s been up here.”
• Siegrist is the second veteran reliever the Phillies have picked up on waivers this week, joining right-hander Juan Nicasio. The Phillies got Nicasio from the Pirates on Thursday, and he picked up a relief win Friday despite getting just one out on three pitches.
“I told him we’re not going to pay him,” Mackanin joked. “He only threw three pitches to get the win. That’s not fair.”