In Baseball America’s latest prospect blog entries, some updates on Phillies prospects are given. First, Scott Mathieson has begun long tossing from 150 feet and appears to be right on schedule. He should be back to pitching from a mound sometime in July, and might make a cameo in September. However, it’s highly unlikely he’ll be effective right away, as pitchers coming back from TJ almost always go through control/command troubles while regaining arm strength. The realist says that sometime mid 2008 he should be fully ready to contribute at the big league level, the question remains in what role he’ll play. Some argue he should get a shot to be the next closer, others argue his highest value is still in the rotation. Until we know what his arm/stuff is going to look like post surgery, that type of speculation really is just that, speculation.
Mentioned in the same article, Scott Mitchinson is also recovering from shoulder surgery (which I apparently missed) and should also be back and throwing in July. Also, there was a blurb on Drabek and his most recent outing in a Low A spring training game. Apparently the Phillies tried to alter Drabek’s delivery, and because of it, he suffered with a bit of velocity drop and wasn’t sharp. He revised his mechanics, somewhere between what he originally was using and what the Phillies suggested, and his fastball velocity shot back up into the 94 range with improved control, his curve was great, and his changeup was better than it was last season in his brief debut. Drabek was also praised for his attitude and ability to work with his coaches, which has to be seen as a great sign. It looks like he’s a lock to start the year at Lakewood, barring a late injury here.