Callup a 'dream come true' for prospect Pinto

Young right-hander makes Majors debut from 'pen

Callup a 'dream come true' for prospect Pinto

MIAMI -- Prior to their 10-2 loss on Wednesday afternoon in the series finale vs. the Marlins, the Phillies placed starting pitcher Vince Velasquez on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow flexor strain and called up right-handed pitcher Ricardo Pinto from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Velasquez left last night's 7-2 loss in the second inning with numbness in his elbow, and he will have an upcoming MRI to determine the extent of the injury.

Pinto caught an early Wednesday morning flight from Indianapolis, where Lehigh Valley was playing, to meet the team in Miami.

By 2:30 p.m. ET, Pinto was making his Major League debut. He relieved Phillies starter Aaron Nola, who went just three innings, and yielded three hits, a walk, and one run in his first big league frame. He worked out of a bases-loaded jam to end the inning by striking out Marcell Ozuna, who gave the Marlins an early lead with a first-inning two-run homer off Nola.

Pinto went two innings, allowing six hits -- including a homer to Justin Bour -- and four runs. He walked three and struck out two.

"It's very exciting to get called up here," said Pinto, the Phillies' No. 16 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com. "It's just a dream come true. I'm just going to enjoy this moment."

Pinto got a knock on his hotel room door late Tuesday and was informed that he was being called up. His Wednesday began at 4 a.m., when he awoke and made it to the Indianapolis airport for a 6 a.m. flight.

"It's a crazy and long day [already]," said the 23-year-old Venezuelan, who hopes his stay will be an extended one. "I'm looking at this as a day-by-day thing. Hopefully I can stay for a long period of time. But I'm just taking it day by day."

Top Prospects: Pinto, PHI

Selected to the World Team at the All-Star Futures Game in 2016 and honored as the 2015 Paul Owens Award winner as the best pitcher in the Phillies' Minor League system, Pinto was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent on Dec. 28, 2011.

Pinto posted a 3.14 ERA over five starts in April and has made two scoreless appearances for the IronPigs since being moved to the bullpen on May 24. Pinto said he likes the move to the 'pen.

"I've been feeling fine [with it], that change is OK with me," said Pinto, who isn't unaccustomed to coming out of the bullpen. "I was a reliever in Venezuela in the Winter Leagues; I was a reliever in Spring Training. So I like that job. Ultimately, I like just playing baseball, so whatever role they want me to be in, I'll be OK with that."

In his most recent outings, Pinto threw 2 1/3 innings over two relief appearances, allowing just two hits while striking out two and walking one. As a starter for Lehigh Valley this season, Pinto is 3-3 with a 5.85 ERA, but over six Minor League seasons, Pinto has compiled a 36-26 record with a 3.39 ERA in 99 games, including 90 starts.

Known for a legitimate changeup, Pinto is also working on other pitches.

"I feel very comfortable with my changeup," Pinto said. "I can throw it in any count. My primary pitches are the fastball and changeup. I'm working on my slider. But I feel very comfortable with my changeup."

Pinto wore jersey No. 51 for the Phillies.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami who covered the Phillies on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.