Around the System, Starting Pitching, Top Half

A look at starting pitching throughout the upper levels of the organization.  You will learn quickly that July was an awful month for starting pitching across the board.  Next up, a look at starting pitching in Lakewood, WIlliamsport and GCL.

Lehigh Valley

Sean O’Sullivan, 26, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 20 starts; 4-9 with a 4.77ERA; 117IP 126H 38BB 69K; 15HR allowed; 0.88 GO/AO; .279 opp avg; 1.40 WHIP; 2.7BB/5.3K per 9; .307 vs. LHH; .255 vs. RHH; 1-3 with a 6.14ERA in 5 July starts; Pedestrian numbers for O’Sullivan, who is an innings eater.

Brad Lincoln, 29, Acquired from Toronto in 2013; 21 games (16 starts); 5-7 with a 4.73ERA; 91.1IP 88H 37BB 80K; 0.80 GO/AO;.251 opp. avg; 1.37 WHIP; 3.6BB/7.9K per 9; .276 vs. LHH, .231 vs. RHH, .284 with RISP; 1-4 with a 6.04ERA in 5 July starts; Has pitched very well at times this year but had a very difficult July.

David Buchanan, 25, Phils 7th round pick in 2010; 12 starts for Lehigh Valley; 6-2 with a 3.95 ERA; 57IP 67H 21BB 46K; 0.97 GO/AO; .300 opp. avg; 1.54WHIP; 3.3BB/7.3K per 9; .320 vs. LHH, .285 vs. RHH; .234 with RISP; The results are good, the splits are not, but Buchanan is poised for a call up, most likely for the remainder of the season to take Cliff Lee’s rotation spot.

Greg Smith, 30, Re-signed as a free agent in 2014; 21 starts, 7-8 with a 4.60ERA; 121.1IP 135H 29BB 71K; .286 opp. avg; 2.2bb/5.3K per nine; .310 vs. LHH, .280 vs. RHH; .333 with RISP; 1.35 WHIP. July: 6 starts,1-3 with a 6.19ERA.  After a good start this year, Smith has gone progressively downhill to a point where he has been quite bad over the last month.

Jo Jo Reyes, 29, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 3 starts, 1-2 with a 11.20 ERA; 13.2IP 26H 3BB 7K; .413 opp avg; Has been brutal since his signing about a month ago.

DL: Jonathan Pettibone, Jason Marquis–Pettibone is out for the year and Marquis, who threw several very good starts for Lehigh Valley was placed on the DL with an oblique injury


Chris Bootcheck, 35, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 15 starts between Lehigh Valley and Reading; 4-8 with a 5.38ERA; 75.1IP 85H 32BB 48K; 0.74 GO/AO; .291 opp. avg; 1.55 WHIP; 3.8BB/5.7K per 9; Bootcheck threw a few good starts for Lehigh Valley before significant struggles sent him down to Reading, where he continues to struggle. 

Severino Gonzalez, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2010; 22 starts; 6-12 with a 5.12ERA; 126.2IP 145H 25BB 93K; 21HR allowed; 0.64 GO/AO; .284 opp avg; 1.34 WHIP; 1.8BB/6.6K per 9; .304 vs. LH, .268 bs. RHH; .339 with RISP; 2-3 with a 5.86ERA in 5 July starts; The 21 homers and .338 opp avg with RISP are the cause of the very poor bottom line.  Looking closely, there is still hope from the 21 year old pitching at AA.

Adam Loewen, 30, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 13 starts between Clearwater and Reading; 2-4 with a 3.54 ERA; 76.1IP 61H 36BB 54K; 1.48 GO/AO; .223 opp avg; 1.27 WHIP; 4.7BB/6.4K per 9; .169 vs. LHH, .244 vs. RHH, .125 with RISP.  Loewen has been pitching increasingly well and the Phils will be facing an interesting decision as to how to handle Loewen over the upcoming months.

Hoby Milner, 23, Phils 7th round pick in 2012; 20 starts, 4-5 with a 4.57ERA; 110.1IP 117H 45BB 70K; 0.62 GO/AO; .274 opp avg; 1.47WHIP; 3.7BB/5.7K per 9; .242 vs. LHH, .283 vs. RHH, .250 with RISP; 1-2 with a 6.40ERA in 6 July starts. Milner had been pitching well and has hit a very rough patch in July.  Still time to salvage a decent season.

Ryan O’Sullivan, 23, Acquired from the Dodgers in 2012; 31 games (6 starts); 5-6 with a 3.25ERA; 80.1IP 76H 27BB 52K; 7HR allowed; 1.68 GO/AO; .249 opp avg; 1.28 WHIP; 3.0BB/5.8K per 9; 6 starts: 3-2 with a 3.13 ERA; We may have found something with O’Sullivan who has thrown consistently well since being moved into the rotation.  The final 4 starts of the year should determine how the Phils intend to use O’Sullivan come 2015.

Temp Inactive: Jesse Biddle–Biddle remains in FLorida working out with the GCL Phils.


Colin Kleven, 23, Phils 33rd round pick in 2009; 19 starts, 4-8 with a 4.89ERA; 108.2IP 129H 20BB 75K; 8HR allowed; 1.28 GO/AO; .297 opp. avg; 1.37 WHIP; 1.6BB/6.2K per 9; .342 vs. LHH; .262 vs. RHH; .305 with RISP.  After coming off a major injury, 2014 has been a success from a health standpoint.  From an overall body of work standpoint, there are some obvious deficiencies that need work.

Mark Leiter, 23, Phils 22nd round pick in 2013; 22 starts between Lakewood and CLearwater; 7-9 with a 4.22ERA; 120.1IP 126H 30BB 111K; 1.40 GO/AO; .269 opp. avg; 1.30 WHIP; 2.2BB/8.3K per 9; 8 HR allowed; For Clearwater: 6 starts; 2-2 with a 4.00ERA; .255 opp avg; 1.25 WHIP; Overall it has been a successful year for Leiter, moving up a level and pitching capably for CLearwater.  He needs to be more consistent as two good starts are often followed by an awful start but an overall nice body of work this year.

Aaron Nola, 21, Phils 1st round pick in 2014; 7 starts; 2-3 with a 3.16ERA; 31.1IP 21H 5BB 30K; 0.61 GO/AO; .214 opp avg; 0.83 WHIP; 1.4BB/8.6K per nine; You cant ask for anything more than we have gotten out of Nola at High A.  I am anxious to see how this translates during what I hope will be a couple of AA starts before years end.

Miguel Nunez, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2010; 20 games (15 starts); 5-7 with a 5.09ERA; 92IP 97H 35BB 69K; 0.75 GO/AO; .269 opp avg; 1.43 WHIP; 3.4BB/6.8K per 9; .273 vs. LHH, .265 vs. RHH, .298 with RISP; 3-1 with a 1.88ERA in 4 July starts; Nunez has found himself in July and pitched very well after a fairly ugly first three months of the season.

Jeb Stefan, 24, Phils 22nd  round pick in 2012; 23 games (13 starts); 6-10 with a 6.51ERA; 84.1IP 96H 34BB 63K, 8HR allowed; 0.73 GO/AO; .288 opp avg; 1.54WHIP; 3.6BB/6.7K per 9; .270 vs. LHH; .302 vs. RHH; .318 with RISP; July: 2-3 with a 10.17ERA.  Its been consistently poor all year.


7 thoughts on “Around the System, Starting Pitching, Top Half

  1. I guess you can also add Adam Morgan to the DL list, though he may be throwing in a week or so..

  2. I think this should be an empty article with the word barren stamped on it, The upper levels are pretty barren , following Morgan , Pettibone and now the crumbling of Biddles psyche

  3. i know this doesn’t apply to this story, but anything on ranger suarez? i know stats from that league don’t mean much,but what his stats are amazing

    1. Yeah one (1) BB in all those inns…and he is a lefty. Any success of that kind has got to make anybody happy. A good resume to carry forward.

  4. Nunez and Kleven are guys that interest me. Both are big dudes and both have missed time with injuries. Nunez has a fastball in the low 90s, but other than that I don’t know much about either guy outside of the numbers.

  5. I know this is only for the upper half of the system but I think the starting pitching as a whole will look a lot better at the beginning of next season compared to this past season. I remember looking at it and saying Biddle was the only 1 who projected as a starter in the majors that was actually pitching in our system. Since then the Phils have added Nola, Imhoff and Liebrandt. The reviews have been positive on all 3 so far. Then there’s the injured 3 of Mecias, Watson and Morgan. Mecias has looked very good so far. The other 2 only time will tell but they certainly are legit prospects if healthy. There’s also Pettibone if he can get healthy. All I know is I feel a lot better about the starting pitching in the minors than I did 4 months ago.

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