Phillies bring Taschner back to bullpen
Lefty changed arm slot, found success at Triple-A level
PHILADELPHIA -- Jack Taschner is back, and he looks a little different.
Actually, it is his delivery that looks a little different. Taschner, whom the Phillies designated for assignment July 3 before optioning him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, rejoined the Phils on Tuesday, when the team expanded its roster.
Taschner is glad to be back.
The left-hander went 1-1 with a 5.20 ERA in 21 appearances with the Phillies, who acquired him in a March trade with the Giants for catcher Ronny Paulino. Taschner changed his arm slot in Lehigh Valley. Instead of releasing the ball over his head, he releases it more to the side. It worked. It brought more life to his pitches, and made him more effective against left-handed hitters.
He went 0-2 with a 2.08 ERA in 20 appearances for the IronPigs. Opponents hit just .213 against him, left-handers just .208.
"I wasn't angry when I left, so I don't feel like I need to come back with a chip on my shoulder," he said. "Of course, I would like to show these guys I can be consistent and get lefties out when needed. There's no, 'I'm going to show these guys. They sent me to Triple-A.' I was pitching [badly]. I wasn't getting it done. It was the best thing for me."
Taschner is the only extra body the Phillies called up from the Minors to join them, but more are expected. Manager Charlie Manuel said they want some of the potential callups to continue to play until their seasons end to keep them sharp.
Manuel said he could use a speedster to come off the bench in pinch-running situations. That could be Double-A outfielder Quintin Berry, who has 48 stolen bases in 61 attempts.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.