Each day during the balance of 2020 as part of my celebration of 50 years following the Philadelphia Phillies, I’ll recall a mostly obscure and in many cases completely forgotten player who appeared with the ball club between 1971-2020.
This micro-bio series publishes each morning and will include basic background info on the player, their statistical performance with the Phillies during the specific season highlighted, and a snap-shot of the rest of their big-league career.
For each year, I choose one random position player and one pitcher, giving each their own remembrance in separate articles on different days. Over the first four days we looked at 2019’s most randoms, Yacksel Rios and Mitch Walding, and the 2018 most randoms Drew Anderson and Dylan Cozens.
As we continue to work our way backwards in time, today we move on to the pitcher not previously covered in the series who combined little impact on the 2017 Phillies and who is likely to have the least impactful big-league career.
Jesen Therrien was taken by the Phillies in the 17th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft out of Ahuntsic College in Quebec City, Canada. After spending two seasons in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, Therrien began moving up in the farm system over the next few years.
In 2016, Therrien broke out with a strong season split between High-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading. He followed that up by gaining experience against big-league hitters while pitching with Canada at the 2017 World Baseball Classic. When he continued that solid relief pitching back in Reading and then with Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2017, the Phillies felt it was time to give him a look.
“I go on the mound and for me it’s an opportunity to give 100 percent, it doesn’t matter if it’s Double-A, Triple-A, High-A or the big leagues, it’s the same mentality,” Therrien told Ryan Lawrence of The Philly Voice in May of 2017. “It’s the same baseball, just with better guys (at higher levels). Every time I step on the mound is an opportunity to get better.”
On July 29. 2017 at Citizens Bank Park against the Atlanta Braves, Therrien finally made his big-league debut. Entering in the 6th inning for manager Pete Mackanin, the right-hander surrendered a leadoff double to the first batter he faced, Johan Camargo. Settling down, he retired the next three in a row, including a strikeout of Micah Johnson.
He would remain up with the Phillies for more than a month through early September. He put together a five-game scoreless streak during that time from August 11-19, allowing just one hit over six innings.
“I looked in the stands and was like, ‘Damn. I made it,” he told Kamila Hinkson of CBC News regarding his big-league debut. “I was so proud of myself and happy to be on the field. All the hard work I put in since I was young, it really paid off.”
Unfortunately, Therrien was also prone to the blow-up. There were a half-dozen appearances in which he surrendered at least two runs, including four of five at the end of August.
Overall, Therrien allowed 24 hits over 18.1 innings pitched across 15 games with a 10/7 K:BB ratio. He also gave up five home runs. Scored upon in five of his final six outings, Therrien got his final shot on September 4 at Citi Field against the host New York Mets.
It was found that Therrien had an elbow injury which would require Tommy John surgery, which he underwent in late September 2017. He has not pitched again in Major League Baseball.
Therrien became a free agent in November 2017 and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers later that month.
“The goal is to get Jesen ready for the 2019 season. We’re really excited about what he’s capable of doing,” said new Dodgers director of player development Brandon Gomes per Eric Stephen at SB Nation after the signing. “Now it’s just focusing on getting him as healthy and as strong as possible.”
Therrien never pitched for the Dodgers, either at the majors or minors levels. He was placed on the Injured List with Triple-A Oklahoma City at the start of 2019 and remained there all year. In November 2019 he was again granted free agency and has not signed with a team at this point.
The most random Phillies pitcher from the 2017 season will be featured on Tuesday. Check back for that next installment in this year-long series. You can view each of them at any time from the History section under the “Phillies 50: 1971-2020” page of our website toolbar.