PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin put an end to the speculation. The organization's top pitching prospect, Jake Thompson, will make his Major League debut on Saturday in San Diego, the skipper announced after the Phillies' 3-2 loss to the Giants on Thursday.
Starting Saturday, Thompson won't slot into Aaron Nola's temporarily vacated rotation spot. Mackanin said that the debut date is to give other starters extra rest but that pitching coach Bob McClure is who determines the rotation order.
"I know he's got Major League stuff, and I'm anxious to see him perform. We'll find out Saturday," Mackanin said. "I don't know what to expect. Eflin had a shaky debut but we really like him, obviously. So we're anxious to see him."
The Phillies also optioned Elvis Araujo back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley following Thursday's game to accommodate Jeanmar Gomez's return from the paternity list. A corresponding move to make room on the 25-man roster for Thompson will be announced prior to his start on Saturday. The Phillies are only carrying four starters on the 25-man roster, so an extra bullpen arm will likely be sent down.
In his last seven starts at Triple-A, Thompson has allowed more than one run in only one of them -- a five-run blip on an otherwise dominant statline. In 21 starts with Lehigh Valley this season, the 22-year-old right-hander is 11-5 with a 2.50 ERA. In addition to being ranked as the Phillies' top pitching prospect by MLBPipeline.com, Thompson is the club's No. 5 overall prospect and ranked as the No. 70 prospect in baseball.
Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.