Instead of Calling Up a Lefty, Phillies Replace Joely Rodriguez With Casey Fien

Rather than calling up a left-handed reliever to replace Joely Rodriguez in the bullpen, the Phillies on Thursday selected the contract of veteran right-hander Casey Fien.

Fien, 33, allowed two runs in nine innings at Triple A Lehigh Valley and struck out 11.

The Phillies acquired Fien (pronounced FEEN) from the Mariners for cash on May 9.

He debuted in the majors in 2009 and has pitched with the Tigers, Twins, Dodgers and Mariners. In 299 appearances, Fien has a 4.29 ERA and has walked just 1.9 batters per nine innings.

A spot in the Phils' bullpen opened when Rodriguez was designated for assignment Thursday. He had one of the worst seasons imaginable for a lefty specialist, allowing 31 of the 65 left-handed hitters he faced to reach base.

The Phils could have called up switch-pitcher Pat Venditte or lefties Hoby Milner or Cesar Ramos. All three have pitched very well for the IronPigs. Venditte has a 1.20 ERA and has allowed 13 hits in 30 innings. Ramos has a 1.82 ERA and 0.87 WHIP. And Milner has a 1.88 ERA with a strikeout per inning.

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Venditte is popular among Phillies fans because of the uniqueness of a switch-pitcher. But there are legitimate questions about his ability to get big-league hitters out with a low-80s fastball and mediocre-at-best control.

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