Eye-opening reliever Jesen Therrien has already impressed Phillies manager


ATLANTA — The Phillies added veteran right-handed reliever Casey Fien to their bullpen on Thursday. He replaced lefty Joely Rodriguez, who was designated for assignment (see story).

Fien, acquired earlier in the season from Seattle in a cash deal, had been pitching at Triple A Lehigh Valley.

Before the season is out, the Phils will surely add more arms from Triple A.

Reliever Jesen Therrien put himself on the radar with two strong months at Double A Reading (see story). Therrien was promoted to Triple A last week and, entering Thursday, had pitched in two games. In four innings, he'd allowed just two hits and an unearned run. He'd struck out four and walked none.

Therrien, 24, is one of the best athletes in the Phillies' system. He also has one of the best breaking balls, a hard slider that breaks downward, much like the one Brad Lidge used to throw.

Manager Pete Mackanin saw it in spring training when Therrien came over from minor-league camp as an extra pitcher.

"We loved his breaking ball in spring training," Mackanin said. "We really got excited about him."

Is Therrien a guy who could be considered for a call-up later this season?

"For me, he's on the map," Mackanin said. "Especially out of the bullpen, if you have a good breaking ball and can command it, that's half the battle."

Therrien also has something else going for him. He's from Montreal. His mother is French-Canadian. Mackanin's wife, Nancy, is also French-Canadian.

"She wanted a signed ball from him so I got her one," Mackanin said with a laugh.

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