RHP Ben Lively to Make Phillies Debut Saturday After Dominating Triple A

This time, Ben Lively will pitch.

The Phillies announced Friday that Lively will be their starting pitcher Saturday in his MLB debut.

Lively, 25, was called up on April 19 for a few days and again on May 14 to give the Phils an extra arm but he didn't pitch either time.

This time around, two needs were created in the starting rotation with the demotion of Zach Eflin and the minor arm injury to Vince Velasquez (see story).

Lively was a clear candidate to fill one of those two rotation vacancies because of the consistent success he's had at the top of the Phillies' farm system the last two seasons.

In 37 starts the last two years - 28 at Triple A, nine at Double A - Lively is 24-6 with a 2.62 ERA. His calling card is command, which he needs because his fastball sits in the 88 to 91 mph range. Lively has walked just seven batters this season in 56 1/3 innings.

"What I hope is that he'll come up and do exactly what he's been doing at Triple A," Phillies GM Matt Klentak said Friday. "He competes his butt off on the mound, he throws a lot of strikes. He's got a really good feel on the mound. He demonstrated that to us last year and in the early part of this year and the hope is he doesn't change a darn thing because what he's been doing is pretty good.

"He's ready for this. He's done everything he needs to do in the minor leagues and this is his opportunity to come up here and showcase it at the big-league level."

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