After the Phillies shipped Pat Neshek to the Colorado Rockies and Howie Kendrick to the Washington Nationals earlier this week, it was expected that the team would make moves in order to get the roster back to full strength. The team elected to keep the positional players it had in check and promoted two bullpen arms to the Major League roster. Two arms, two entirely different stories. On one hand, you have a pitcher making his Major League debut. On the other, you’ll see a pitcher who finally was able to get himself back on a big league roster after years away from the highest level. Let’s meet these two arms.
Meet Jesen Therrien. Therrien is a 24-year-old right hander drafted by the Phillies in the 17th round of the 2011 draft. He was taken by the Phillies after 541 other players. He was the final pick of the 17th round. Therrien comes to the Phillies by way of Montreal, Canada and College Ahuntsic. He spent his first two professional seasons in Rookie ball, rotating between the starting rotation and the bullpen. In 2014, Therrien began the year in Short Season A Williamsport, where he made just eight appearances, posting a 3.00 ERA, before being promoted to Lakewood. The righty struggled after making the jump, appearing in 27 games with a 6.27 ERA, allowing 85 baserunners in 56 innings pitched.
The 2014-15 offseason must have rejuvenated Therrien, because he reported to Lakewood once again to begin the 2015 season, but this time, had drastically different results. He saw action in just nine games in Lakewood, throwing 17.1 innings and posting a 0.52 ERA and a sub-1.00 WHIP, before the Phillies front office saw enough and promoted Therrien to Clearwater, where he would remain the rest of the season. While in Clearwater, Therrien continued his success, pitching in 30 games, all in relief, winning five and losing none, all while allowing just 11 runs in 45.2 innings pitched, a 1.77 ERA. As Therrien jumped to Clearwater, his WHIP and BAA spiked, but not considerably enough to be concerned. The Phillies chalked it up to nothing more than a oppositional talent level rise.
Therrien, once again, reported to Clearwater when the 2016 season started. He threw in 27 games out of the bullpen before he was taken from the Sunshine State and brought closer to home, as the Phillies promoted the now 25-year-old to AA Reading. He would stay in Reading for the rest of the season, finishing with a split stat line of a 2.59 ERA, 55.2 innings pitched, 76 K’s, and a 1.29 WHIP.
When camp broke to begin the 2017 season, Therrien found himself in Reading with no inclination to move back down to Florida. Therrien pitched in 21 games with the Fightin’ Phils, posting a 1.26 ERA in 28.2 innings pitched, all while allowing opposing batters to hit just .149 off of him before getting plucked out of Berks County and moving to Lehigh Valley to join the Iron Pigs bullpen at the AAA level. Therrien spent very little time in Lehigh Valley, throwing just 28.2 innings over 18 appearances before making the next jump. The Phillies felt his Reading/LV split of 2-1, 1.41 ERA, an opponents .191 BA, and most importantly, just nine walks in 57.1 innings pitched were more than justifiable for a big league call up.
Therrien made his Major League debut with the Phillies Saturday night in a 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves. After Jerad Eickhoff lasted just five innings, Therrien was called upon to pitch the sixth. Despite giving up a leadoff double to Johan Camargo, Therrien tight roped his way out of danger by getting a strikeout and two groundouts to end the inning unscored upon.
Barring any unforeseen struggles, I’d expect Therrien to remain on the Major League roster for the remainder of the season now that Neshek is gone and Joaquin Benoit may not be too far behind.
Meet Pedro Beato. Beato was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles with the 32nd pick in the 2006 MLB Draft out of St. Petersburg College. Originally hailing from the Domincan Republic, Beato was taken 14 picks after the Phillies first selection, pitcher Kyle Drabek. The sinker baller powered his way through the Orioles minor league system, being promoted every year form 2006-2009.
He began his professional career with the Aberdeen Ironbirds in the New York Penn League. Beato tossed 57 innings, making 10 starts and 14 total appearances after being drafted in 2006, posting a 3.63 ERA along the way. Beato started the 2007 season with a promotion to the full season A Delmarva Shorebirds, where he started 27 games. Beato threw over 140 innings, going 7-8 with a 4.05 ERA He allowed 198 baserunners over the course of the season, as batters hit .256 against him.
Despite struggling in Single A in 2007, Beato found himself on the Advanced A Frederick Keys roster on Opening Day, 2008. The Keys used Beato as a starter, as he made 19 starts for the team, going just 4-10 with a 5.85 ERA in 97 innings. Batters teed off on Beato, hitting .306, striking out just 51 times in the 97 innings. The 1.57 WHIP Beato posted in 2008 was the highest single season WHIP of his minor league career.
Beato started 2009 in Frederick once again, but wouldn’t remain there the entire season. After making 20 starts, winning five of them, and holding down a 4.53 ERA, the Orioles decide to promote the 23-year-old to AA Bowie.The righty appeared in six games for Bowie, starting five. He threw 32 innings in AA that season, as batters were actually less successful, hitting .268. He finished his 2009 time in Bowie with a 1-3 record and 4.50 ERA.
2009 would be the last year that Baltimore would use Beato as a starting pitcher. As 2010 rolled around, Beato moved to the Bowie bullpen. He found significant success as the Baysox’ closer that year, posting a 2.11 ERA, picking up 16 saves in 20 opportunities. In total, he appeared in 43 games, pitching 59.2 innings, as he held batters to a .225 batting average, his lowest since his first season in Aberdeen.
But 2010 would be the last year Beato remained in the organization that drafted him. The Orioles left Beato unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft that offseason, and the New York Mets picked him up. Beato made his Major League debut with the Mets that season, appearing in 60 games out of the bullpen. He finished the year with a 4.30 ERA in 67 innings. He struckout just 39 in the season, and he allowed 86 baserunners over the course of the 67 innings.
Despite making the Major League roster in 2011, Beato only appeared in seven big league games with the Mets in 2012. He pitched primarily for the the Mets’ AAA affiliate Buffalo, appearing in 24 games with a 4.14 ERA in 37 innings. BEato continued to lower his WHIP, down to 1.16 on the season for the Bisons. On August 16 of that season, Beato was sent to the Boston Red Sox to complete a player to be named later deal that sent catcher Kelly Shoppach to the Mets. Beato finished out the season in AAA Pawtucket, where he saw greater success. He pitched in just four games to end the year, but did not allow a run in five innings, giving up just one hit.
Beato started the 2013 season with Pawtucket, where he would remain for a majority of the season. He appeared in 34 games in Pawtucket, holding down a sub-3.00 ERA in 51.1 innings pitched. The proficiency allowed Beato to be promoted to the Red Sox for 10 appearances that year. In the ten innings that he pitched, Beato allowed four earned runs, giving him a 3.60 MLB ERA for the year. He finished the year with a combined ERA of just above 3.00.
Despite his success in both AAA and the Majors in 2013, Beato was put on waivers by the Red Sox that offseason and was claimed by the Cincinnati Reds. Just six months later, he was again put on waivers and claimed by the Atlanta Braves. Beato appeared in three games for the Braves in 2014, but spent much of his time in AAA Gwinnett, where he was not nearly as sharp as he was in Pawtucket the year prior. Beato appeared in 42 games, throwing 48.1 innings. He finished the season with a 4.10 ERA and was let go by the Braves at the conclusion of the season.
Beato went full circle of life that offseason, signing with the Baltimore Orioles once again. This time, Beato finally made it to AAA Norfolk, where he pitched the entirety of the 2015-2016 seasons. He found great success in Norfolk, Appearing in 128 games over two season, throwing 14.2 innings. He held batters to .240 and .231 batting averages in his two seasons, and posted a 2.65 ERA in each season with Norfolk. He won exactly ten games in two seasons and lost exactly ten.
While Beato was successful in the prior two seasons, he was not resigned by the Orioles and elected to sign a minor league deal with the Phillies. Before his recent callup, Beato was succesful in Lehigh Valley, pitching in 44 games with a 2.72 ERA in 46.1 innings. He was holding batters to a .202 batting average as well.
After nearly three seasons away from the big leagues, Beato also made his return to a Major League mound Saturday night. He began the eighth inning by picking up a strikeout and a groundout. But this game can be a cruel, unforgiving beast sometimes, as Beato wasn’t able to finish the inning, as he had to leave the game with an apparent leg injury. The injury, right now, isn’t considered serious, and Beato is day-to-day. I’d expect that, much like Therrien, when Beato finds his way off the DL, that he’ll remain on the big league roster for the foreseeable future.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports