Phillies option 2 lefties to AAA as major-league rosters shrink to 26

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With MLB rosters shrinking from 28 active players to 26 on Monday, the Phillies optioned a pair of left-handed pitchers to Triple A after Sunday’s loss in New York.

Cristopher Sanchez and Damon Jones were sent to Triple A, leaving the Phillies with 13 position players and 13 pitchers. Teams cannot carry more than 14 arms.

MLB permitted teams to carry 28 players through May 2 to account for the condensed spring training and lockout that lasted more than three months. Now, rosters are back down to 26 until September, when they increase to 28 again.

Sanchez has pitched 10 innings in four relief appearances for the Phillies this season with 10 strikeouts, five walks and a 5.40 ERA. He’s appeared in 11 games the last two years and has a 5.16 ERA with a 1.59 WHIP. At Lehigh Valley, he could be stretched out as a starter to give the Phillies another rotation option in the event of injury. That was the objective when they sent down Bailey Falter last week.

Jones has been hurt by command, which has been an issue throughout his minor-league career (63 walks in 78 innings at Triple A). With the Phillies this season, Jones has pitched in four games, walking at least one batter in each and posting a 9.64 ERA.

Following the transactions, the Phillies have two left-handers in their bullpen in Brad Hand and Jose Alvarado. The eight-man bullpen now consists of Corey Knebel, Jeurys Familia, Hand, Alvarado, Seranthony Dominguez, James Norwood, Nick Nelson and Andrew Bellatti.

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