Brock Stassi, backup first baseman and pretty much the best story of spring training, has been optioned to the minor leagues. The dream is dead.
Okay, not really. There’s a chance he could be back at some point. But it doesn’t seem like it’ll be anytime soon. Stassi was optioned not to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but to Double-A Reading.
1B/OF Brock Stassi was optioned to Double-A Reading following today's game. Mackanin said he needs to get at-bats #Phillies— Stephen Gross (@SteveGrossMCall) June 4, 2017
There’s just no room for him on the IronPigs, and he needs to play. He really, really needs to play. He hit .197/.290/.361 in 36 games and 69 plate appearances, which is pretty underwhelming.
Stassi was disappointed, but understands what’s going on. Here’s what he told MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki.
"I didn't take advantage of the opportunity that was given to me," Stassi said. "I didn't do my job when I got in there. It is what it is. Hopefully I'll be able to get into a rhythm down there, get back to where my swing was in spring."
As far as being sent to Reading, though?
Asked if he was surprised, Stassi said, "I mean, I knew somebody had to go. Kind of expect the worst, hope for the best, you know? It is what it is. Kind of surprising I'm going to Reading, but whatever."
I’d be “whatever”-ing too, Brock.
Somebody did have to go, though. And that’s because Nick Pivetta has been recalled from the IronPigs to start tonight’s game. He’s taking Vince Velasquez’s place in the rotation, and wants some redemption. He made four starts between April 30 and May 27 and couldn’t get past the fifth inning in any of them. In 19.1 innings, he racked up a 5.12 ERA and gave up five home runs. His 21 strikeouts were the one bright spot in his time in the majors. In the Minors, though, he’s been killing it. Five starts, 32 innings, 1.41 ERA, 37 strikeouts.
Let’s see what Pivetta can do in his second trip to the majors.