A look at starting pitching in the upper parts of the organization.
Aaron Nola, 22, Phils 1st round pick in 2014; 16 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 10-3 with a 1.97ERA; 100.1IP 83H 14BB 83K; 5HR allowed; .230 opp avg; 0.97 WHIP; 1.2BB/7.5K per 9; For Lehigh Valley, 4 starts, 3-0 with a 2.28ERA; .264 opp avg; 1.23 WHIP; .231 vs LH, .288 vs RH. You cant ask for much more out of Nola. He has impressed consistently all season long.
Severino Gonzalez, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2010; 9 starts for Lehigh Valley, 1-4 with a 4.38ERA; 51.1IP 53H 12BB 27K; 5HR allowed; 2.1BB/4.7K per 9; .268 opp avg; 1.27 WHIP; 0.65 GO/AO; .282 vs LH, .257 vs RH, .250 last 30 days. Gonzalez has bounced back and forth between Philly and Lehigh Valley and has taken a beating in the big leagues. Just 22, he needed this full season to develop in AAA and hasn’t been given that opportunity.
Anthony Vasquez, 28, Signed as a free agent in 2015; 17 games (11 starts) between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 5-3 with a 3.95ERA; 70.2IP 63H 26BB 46K; 3.3BB/5.9K per 9; .246 opp avg; 1.26 WHIP; 0.97 GO/AO; For LV: 9 starts, 4-3 with a 4.96ERA; 45.1IP 43H 21BB 31K; .254 opp avg; 1.41 WHIP; 4.2BB/6.2K per 9; .306 vs LH, .241 vs RH, .326 last month. After pitching very well in Reading and equally well in his first few outings in AAA, Vazquez has struggled of late.
Jason Berken, 31, Signed as a free agent in 2015; 17 games (8 starts); 5-5 with a 3.33ERA; 73.1IP 73H 21BB 48K; 2.6BB/5.9K per 9; .262 opp avg; 1.29 WHIP; 0.95 GO/AO; .262 vs LH, .261 vs RH; .222 last 30 days; Berken is 4-2 with a 2.27ERA as a starter and has been one of the rare pitchers who have performed consistently well for the ‘Pigs this year. No reason that Berken shouldnt get a shot with the big club this year based on his performance, the fact that he has major league experience and the further fact that the Phils desperately need someone to eat innings.
David Buchanan, 26, Phils 7th round pick in 2010; 4 starts, 2-0 with a 2.53ERA; 21.1IP 28H 4BB 14K; 1.7BB/5.9K per 9; .311 opp avg; 1.50 WHIP; 1.29 GO/AO; Buchanan just returned with a very good start after missing close to two months with a significant ankle sprain. With three or four good starts, he will quickly be back in Philly.
Zach Eflin, 21, Acquired from Padres in 2015; 14 starts, 5-4 with a 2.88ERA; 84.1IP 77H 16BB 42K; .244 opp avg; 1.10 WHIP; 1.11 GO/AO; 1.7BB/4.5K per 9; .308 vs LHP; .189 vs RH; .286 last 30 days; 6 HR allowed; .302 with RISP. The bottom line from Eflin looks very good. Absent one awful outing, the bottom line would be excellent.
Ben Lively, 23, Acquired from Reds in 2015; 16 starts, 7-6 with a 3.76ERA; 95.2IP 100H 31BB 66K; 8HR allowed; .279 opp avg; 1.37 WHIP; 0.91 GO/AO; 2.9BB/6.2K per 9; .291 vs LH, .269 vs RH, .296 last 30 days; .203 with RISP. Lively’s performance with RISP accounts for his low ERA which he should be lauded for. His peripherals otherwise are adequate but nothing spectacular.
Jesse Biddle, 23, Phils 1st round pick in 2010; 15 starts, 7-2 with a 4.24ERA; 80.2IP 90H 34BB 57K; .288 opp avg; 1.54 WHIP; 1.02 GO/AO; 3.8BB/6.4K per 9; .284 vs LH, .290 vs RH, .306 last 30 days; .229 with RISP; Some days outstanding, other days brutal spells mediocrity in the long run. Now with 58 starts at the AA level, there is nothing left to do in Reading. Biddle would benefit from a new voice at AAA.
Mark Leiter, 24, Phils 22nd round pick in 2013; 18 games (12 starts) between CLearwater and Reading; 4-4 with a 2.36ERA, 1 save; 91.2IP 75H 22BB 77K; .224 opp avg; 1.06 GO/AO; 0.72 GO/AO; 2.2BB/7.6K per 9. For Reading: 4 starts, 1-3 with a 3.52ERA; .284 opp avg; 1.39 WHIP. Leiter has generally been very impressive all year, first working his way out of the Clearwater bullpen into their rotation and then out of CLearwater completely to AA. A 22nd round pick, but I am not convinced the Phils don’t have something here, albeit likely in a bullpen role.
Colin Kleven, 24, Phils 33rd round pick in 2009; 15 starts between Clearwater and Reading; 6-4 with a 3.66ERA; 83.2IP 78H 24BB 64K; 4HR allowed; .253 opp avg; 1.22 WHIP; 1.02 GO/AO; 2.6BB/6.9K per 9; Kleven has been one of 2015’s nice surprises, pitching extremely well for CLearwater before his promotion to Reading. For Reading, he has had one excellent start, followed by a poor one.
Victor Arano, 20, Acquired from Dodgers in 2015; 14 starts, 3-7 with a 4.44ERA; 73IP 70H 13BB 36K; .254 opp avg; 1.14 WHIP; 0.76 GO/AO; 1.6BB/4.4K per 9; .360 vs LH, .203 vs RH, .200 last 30 days; .263 with RISP; 3.03 ERA since June 1. After a very rough beginning, Arano has really come into his own as of late. His command is very good.
David Whitehead, 23, Phils 34th round pick in 2013; 16 starts; 5-7 with a 4.34ERA; 87IP 96H 27BB 64K; .285 opp avg; 1.44 WHIP; 1.78 GO/AO; 3.0BB/6.6K per 9; .286 vs LH, .284 vs RH, .300 last 30 days, .253 with RISP; Whitehead’s workload has already increased over last year and it will be telling to see how he holds up after missing 2013 injured. He had been moderately effective. It will be interesting to see how his workload is managed.
Matt Imhof, 21, Phils 2nd round pick in 2014; 7 starts, 3-3 with a 4.50ERA; 28IP 25H 17BB 15K; .258 opp avg; 1.50 WHIP; 1.74 GO/AO; 5.5BB/4.8K per 9; .206 vs LH, .286 vs RH, .262 last 30 days. Imhof missed about 2 months of the early going on the disabled list and has begun showing signs of real life but the bottom line has been concerning. His bb/k ratio is extremely problematic. Just 21, he has time to turn it around.
Ricardo Pinto, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2011; 14 starts between Lakewood and CLearwater; 8-3 with a 3.03ERA; 86IP 82H 22BB 70K; .255 opp avg; 1.21 WHIP; 0.95 GO/AO; 2.3BB/7.3K per 9; For Clearwater: 3 stars, 2-1, 2.84ERA; 1.11WHIP. Pinto continues rising up the Phils prospects charts with consistent improvement as he moves from level to level. Very little negative to discuss with Pinto who I would expect to spend the balance of the year in CLearwater, with his work load beginning to be monitored after making just 9 starts for Williamsport last year.
Brandon Leibrandt,22, Phils 6th round pick in 2014; 13 starts; 5-2 with a 2.84ERA; 76IP 60H 13BB 66K; .221 opp avg; 0.96 WHIP; 1.5BB/7.8K per 9; Leibrandt is about ready to come off the DL after missing close to a month. Prior to his DL stint he was outstanding and probably on the verge of a Reading call up prior to his injury. With the setback, expect Leibrandt to make several starts in CLearwater before the potential for a Reading promotion comes again.