Two of the worst pitching staffs in baseball jettisoned Jerome Williams this season, but the veteran righthander has found a new home with the pitching-starved Phillies.
On Sunday, they claimed Williams off waivers from Texas. The 32-year-old Hawaiian is expected to start Tuesday against one of his other former teams, the Los Angeles Angels. Sean O'Sullivan, the scheduled Tuesday starter, was designated for assignment to clear space for Williams.
"We needed another arm," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said, "and he's a guy who has pitched in the big leagues, so we want to take a look at him."
Williams made two starts for the Rangers and allowed 11 runs in 10 innings (a 9.90 ERA). Texas released Williams after Cleveland rocked him for 10 runs on 13 hits in four innings on Aug. 1. He started 2014 as a reliever for Houston, and that stint yielded a 6.04 ERA in 26 games.
He did not pitch in the majors for three seasons but staged a comeback in 2011 with the Angels. Three average seasons there earned him a $2.1 million contract with the Astros last winter.
O'Sullivan made two starts with a 6.94 ERA for the Phillies. He allowed three homers to Houston in six innings last Thursday. The Phillies are expected to use a mishmash of pitchers to fill the fifth rotation spot over the season's final seven weeks.
Sandberg did not anoint Williams the starter for Tuesday, but said, "One way or the other, he will pitch in that game."
The Phillies bullpen has allowed one earned run in its last 242/3 innings since Aug. 5 for a 0.35 ERA in that span. Mario Hollands, Jake Diekman and Ken Giles combined for four scoreless innings in Sunday's 7-6 win. Giles earned his first major-league win.
"Once again," Sandberg said, "the bullpen stepped in and kept everything in check and allowed the rally to happen at the end."
Giles has faced 88 batters and 36 of them (41 percent) have struck out.
The Phillies lead the National League in innings played (1,079). Saturday marked their 16th extra-inning game this season. . . . triple-A Lehigh Valley hitting coach Sal Rende was honored with the John Vukovich Award, given annually to an instructor in the Phillies organization who embodies the characteristics of Vukovich, a longtime coach.