"I thought I was going down to the Minors for the Cubs when this happened," Lahey said. "It's terrific. This is a great situation to be in. When I was told what the Cubs were going to do, someone told me there is a chance I'd be picked up. I just didn't know by whom."
The suitor was the Phillies, who bolstered the back end of their bullpen with the right-hander, who finished the spring with an 0-1 record and a 6.75 ERA in 12 innings.
As a Rule 5 Draft player, Lahey knows he walks a precarious line, able to waived at any time. For now, however, he's in a Major League uniform for a team that could be playing meaningful games into October, and will likely need as much pitching help as possible.
"It came down to a numbers situation with the Cubs," Lahey said. "Jon Lieber was moved to the bullpen, [so] the Cubs had to make a move. In a way, it was good for them and good for me."
It's an odd trip that even led Lahey to the mound. He caught at Princeton and had a strong arm, but he struggled offensively.
"My coach at Princeton, Scott Bradley, suggested it might be a good idea that I pitch," Lahey said. "It's funny, because reaching the Majors might not have happened if I lit it up in the Appalachian League with my bat. Coach Bradley opened the idea that I [should] be a pitcher."
It's helped Lahey get to the Phillies, who will activate closer Brad Lidge on April 5, when he is eligible to come off the disabled list.
"I can't worry about that; my primary concern is do to whatever role they give me, and as long as I get the ball in my hands, I plan to compete and throw hard," Lahey said. "My results [against] Toronto were not great. I felt I needed a little time to get my rhythm going out there. I pitch to contact, and I felt the ball came out of my hand well. The bottom line is I'm here, and I'm excited to be here."