What are the Phillies’ plans for Spencer Turnbull going forward?

Phillies Spencer Turnbull

On Tuesday night, the Phillies unveiled their new plan for Spencer Turnbull: a piggyback, in this case, with Cristopher Sanchez.

Sanchez threw a gem in front of Turnbull, going 7 IP and allowing a single run. Turnbull entered the game in the 8th and shut things down for the win.

Before the Phillies clashed with the Blue Jays, manager Rob Thomson had a slightly different idea of how the night would go. “Going into the game we were kind of thinking like 5 [innings] and then go to Bull, but he [Sanchez] was just so efficient and so good that we kept just extending him”, said Thomson postgame.

Philadelphia Phillies starter Cristopher Sanchez pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 6, 2023, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Sanchez ran into trouble with 1 out in the 7th with runners on 2nd and 3rd. Turnbull had started to get warm in the 6th inning but Thomson wanted to bring Turnbull into a fresh inning.

“In my mind going into this situation, I thought fresh inning, especially the first time,” said Thomson.

Turnbull was prepared to go either way. “When I talked to Spencer today he said as long as I’m prepared and got my pre-game preparation and all the pitches I need in the bullpen, whatever situation I come in isn’t going to really bother me.”

What’s next for Phillies’ Spencer Turnbull?

Since Spencer Turnbull only threw 2 innings, he’ll be out of the pen again sooner than later. “He’ll probably have at least 2 days off,” said Thomson.

He won’t be locked into pitching behind Cristopher Sanchez.

We won’t constantly see Turnbull for 2 innings at a time. Rob Thomson expressed that they want to stretch out Turnbull further than that in the next 10-14 days.

What’s most likely to happen is that Turnbull will ideally pitch 3-4 innings every 4-5 days. He hasn’t thrown over 57 innings since 2019 due to injuries. The Phillies don’t want to put too much stress on his arm this early in the season.

Turnbull now has a 1.57 ERA in 34.1 IP. He’ll remain the first man up if a spot-start is needed. For now, he’ll do his best Bruce Sutter impression and close out games over 3-4 innings at a time.

Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper celebrates after hitting a three-run home run off of San Francisco Giants major league assistant coach Alyssa Nakken during the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, May 5, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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