Overall, Tom Eshelman doesn’t have good numbers at Double-A Reading this season (0-3, 6.28), but he’s moving up a level and back to Lehigh Valley where he was dominant enough in 2017 to push him to be the Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Since receiving that award, he’s fallen on hard times and has rarely looked anything like the pitcher that he was two seasons ago and that includes much of this season with the Fightins.
In his last start, Eshelman did look something like his 2017 self and that was enough for the Phillies to return him to Triple-A. It didn’t hurt his cause that JoJo Romero was struggling worse at Lehigh Valley than Eshelman was at Reading. The 22-year old lefty was 2-2 with a 9.64 ERA in seven starts as an IronPig and was unable to convert one strong start – 6 IP, 1 ER – against Syracuse into anything lasting. In his last two outings, he pitched just 4 2/3 innings and allowed 12 earned runs for a hideous 23.13 ERA. Simply put, something had to be done.
Tentatively, Eshelman is slated to pitch Wednesday for Lehigh Valley against the Syracuse Mets. Romero will start Tuesday for Reading.