Around the System–Starting Pitching

Lehigh Valley

David Buchanan, 27, Phils 7th round pick in 2010; 14 games (13 starts); 4-4 with a 4.54ERA; 83.1IP 88H 19BB 38K; 10HR allowed; .275 opp avg; 1.28 WHIP; 1.08 GO/AO; 2.1BB/4.2K per 9; .240 vs LHH, .296 vs RHH; .288 opp avg in June.  Buchanan has given the ‘Pigs nothing more than innings this year.  Mostly unimpressive, his run with the organization is likely coming to an end this off season.

Ben Lively, 24, Acquired from Reds in 2014; 15 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 10-0 with a 2.12ERA; 93.1IP 55H 26BB 75K; 6HR allowed; 2.5BB/7.2K per 9; .168 opp avg; 0.87 WHIP; 0.88 GO/AO; For LV: 6 starts, 3-0 with a 2.45ERA; .144 opp avg; 0.77 WHIP; 2.5BB/5.8K per 9.  Lively has dominant all year whether pitching for Reading or Lehigh Valley.

James Russell, 30, SIgned as a free agent in 2016; 15 games (8 starts); 2-3 with a 5.01ERA; 41.1IP 47H 13BB 28K; 6HR allowed; 2.8BB/6.1K per 9; .114 vs LHH, .328 vs RHH, .350 opp avg in June; Russell had been throwing well until a very ugly June turned his season around.  He appears clearly better suited for a situational lefty role than starting. Wouldnt be surprised to see Russell back in the bullpen if Morgan moves down to Lehigh Valley on Monday.

Jake Thompson, 22, Acquired from Rangers in 2015; 15 starts; 6-5 with a 2.88ERA; 90.2IP 79H 27BB 63K; 9HR allowed; .238 opp avg; 1.17WHIP; 0.99 GO/AO; 2.6BB/6.2K per 9; 3-0 with a 0.76ERA in 5 June starts; .198 vs RHH, .259 vs LHH, .211 opp avg in June; After somewhat of a slow start, Thompson has been outstanding since the beginning of May and is on course to be one of the primary members of the 2017 rotation.

Anthony Vasquez, 29, Re-signed as a free agent in 2016; 15 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 8-3 with a 3.46ERA; 96.1IP 99H 27BB 69K; 6HR allowed; 2.5BB/6.4K per 9; .275 opp avg; 1.31 WHIP; 1.06 GO/AO; Vasquez knows how to pitch and he has been effective this year.


Tom Eshelman, 22, Acquired from Houston in 2015; 12 starts between CLearwater and Reading; 4-2 with a 3.22ERA; 64.1IP 65H 12BB 69K; 7HR allowed; 1.7BB/9.7K per 9; .259 opp avg; 1.20WHIP; 1.20 GO/AO; Eshelman has progressed very nicely this season with 11 of his 12 starts coming for CLearwater before his recent promotion to Reading.  His pinpoint control is certainly the first step towards success.

Mark Leiter, 25, Phils 22nd round pick in 2013; 10 games (6 starts) for Reading; 3-0 with a 3.50ERA; 36IP 25H 12BB 28K; .198 opp avg; 1.03WHIP; 0.95 GO/AO; 5HR allowed; 2.7BB/7.0K per 9; .228 vs LHH, .174 vs RHH, .193 opp avg in June; Leiter has thrown well after missing the first month plus of the season injured.

Ricardo Pinto, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2011; 15 starts, 3-3 with a 4.32ERA; 85.1IP 86H 24BB 59K; 13HR allowed; .261 opp avg; 1.29WHIP; 0.97 GO/AO; 2.5BB/6.2K per 9; .276 vs LHH, .250 vs RHH, .262 opp avg in June; After an outstanding 2015 in which he went a combined 15-4, Pinto has been up and down this year against stiffer competition.  The home run ball has killed him.

Nick Pivetta, 23, Acquired from Washington in 2015; 15 starts, 7-4 with a 3.43ERA; 86.2IP 78H 30BB 78K; 8 HR allowed; .241 opp avg; 1.25 WHIP; 1.07 GO/AO; 3.1BB/8.1K per 9; .262 vs LHH, .224 vs RHH, .259 opp avg in June; Pivetta has been steady this year and pitched well after struggling with injury at the end of ’15.

Tyler Viza, 21, Phils 32nd round pick in 2013; 13 starts, 7-3 with a 3.34ERA between Clearwater and Reading; 72.2IP 80H 11BB 70K; 8HR allowed; 1.4BB/8.7K per 9; .273 opp avg; 1.25 WHIP; 1.16 GO/AO; For Reading: 4 starts, 1-1 with a 5.09ERA; .272 opp avg; 1.22 WHIP.  Viza is progressing very nicely, pitching with precision and confidence for Clearwater earning him his recent promotion to Reading.


Ranfi Casimiro, 23, Signed as a free agent in 2011; 13 starts, 6-5 with a 4.48ERA; 66.1IP 67H 19BB 54K; 3HR allowed; 2.6BB/7.3K per 9; .223 vs LHH, .282 vs RHH, .299 opp avg in June; After two full seasons in Lakewood, numbers that are serviceable at best for Clearwater thus far.

Eineiry Garcia, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2011; 11 games (10 starts); 6-2 with a 2.14ERA; 63IP 49H 21BB 50K; 3HR allowed; .210 opp avg; 1.11WHIP; 1.00 GO/AO; 2.7BB/7.1K per 9; .217 vs LHH, .209 vs RHH, .230 opp avg in June; Garcia has been extremely impressive this year throwing consistently well with very good command.

Luke Leftwich, 22, Phils 7th round pick in 2015; 13 starts between Lakewood and CLearwater; 8-3 with a 2.10ERA; 73IP 61H 18BB 93K; 0HR allowed; .228 opp avg; 1.08 WHIP; 0.95 GO/AO; 2.2BB/11.5K per 9; Leftwich has been as good as any starter in the organization this year.  Look no further than his BB/K rate and the fact he hasn’t yielded a HR.  It will be interesting to see Leftwich’s progression against the enhanced competition of the FSL.

John Richy,22, Acquired from Dodgers in 2015; 11 games between Reading and CLearwater; 4-4 with a 5.62ERA; 49.2IP 59H 22BB 37K; 4.5BB/6.7K per 9; .303 opp avg; 1.63 WHIP; 1.70 GO/AO; After 7 starts in Reading that had his ERA at 6.00 and opponents hitting .308 against him Richy was sent back to Clearwater to regain his confidence.  A bit better for the Threshers but alot of work to do.

Shane Watson, 22, Phils Comp Rd pick in 2012; 12 starts between Lakewood and Clearwater; 4-5 with a 4.43ERA; 63IP 65H 23BB 56K; .270 opp avg; 1.43 WHIP; 1.53 GO/AO; 3.3BB/8.0K per 9; For CLearwater: 5 starts, 2-3 with a 6.46ERA; .340 opp avg; 1.99WHIP; 0.91 GO/AO; 5.3K/9.2K per 9; After parts of three seasons in Lakewood and a 4th missed injured, Watson was finally promoted to Clearwater after a modicum of success for the BlueClaws this year.  It hasnt been pretty for CLearwater, with Watson really struggling with his command.


Drew Anderson, 22, Phils 21st round pick in 2012; 6 starts, 1- 2 with a 1.93ERA; 32.2IP 23H 11BB 34K; .205 opp avg; 1.04 WHIP; 0.87 GO/AO; 3.0BB/9.4K per 9; .154 vs LHH, .250 vs RHH, .213 opp avg in June; Anderson bouncing back very nicely after missing all of the 2015 season recovering from injury.  With a few more solid starts, he could land in CLearwater quickly.

Harold Arauz, 21, Acquired from Astros in 2015; 12 starts, 3-4 with a 3.86ERA; 58.1IP 51H 21BB 53K; 3HR allowed; .231 opp avg; 1.23WHIP; 1.48 GO/AO; 3.2BB/8.2K per 9; .227 vs LHH, .235 vs RHH, .304 opp avg in June;.  Acquired in the Kenny Giles deal, Arauz has had some real nice starts but has struggled in June. Averaging less than 5IP per start which is problematic.

Tyler Gilbert, 22, Phils 6th round pick in 2015; 12 starts, 4-6 with a 4.10ERA; 68IP 75H 17BB 56K; 7HR allowed; .283 opp avg; 1.35 WHIP; 1.31 GO/AO; 2.3BB/7.4K per 9; .298 vs LHH, .275 vs RHH, .265 opp avg in June. As a high draft pick from a major college, I expected very good numbers against SAL competition.  Still time and Gilbert has not been bad.

Franklyn Kilome, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2013; 12 starts, 1-6 with a 5.12ERA; 58IP 63H 32BB 56K; 5HR allowed; .276 opp avg; 1.64WHIP; 1.11 GO/AO; 5.0BB/8.8K per 9; .293 vs LHH, .259 vs RHH, .208 opp avg in June; After a horrible start, Kilome has pitched better of late, however has been still suffering from control issues.  His “stuff” is top notch, its a matter of figuring out how to effectively use it.

Jose Taveras, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2013; 14 games (9 starts); 3-6 with a 4.12ERA; 67.2IP 57H 12BB 82K; 10HR allowed; .224 opp avg; 1.04 WHIP; 0.83 GO/AO; 1.6BB/10.9K per 9; .208 vs LHH, .239 vs RHH, .303 opp avg June; Taveras has had some eye popping starts such as his 8IP 1ER 0BB 15K performace Saturday evening and other starts that have been less than stellar.  The strikeout ratio indicates some very good stuff.  The homers indicate he sometimes struggles with command. Big frame with interesting potential.


Seranthony Dominguez, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2011; 0-1 with a 3.00ERA in 2 starts; .167 opp avg; Has walked 2 and struck out 11.

Bailey Falter, 19, Phils 5th round pick in 2015; 2 starts, 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA; Has thrown a total of 6 innings in his 2 starts, walking 6 and striking out 3.  .308 opp avg

Adonis Medina, 19, Signed as a free agent in 2013; 2 starts; 1-0 with a 0.00ERA; Has allowed just 5 hits in 12.2IP.  5BB and 5K.

Felix Paulino, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2013; 2 starts; 0-1 with a 3.60ERA; 10IP 13H 2BB 6K

Ranger Suarez, 20, Signed as a free agent in 2011 ; 2 starts, 0-1 with a 1.69ERA; 10.2IP 11H 2BB 8K.




19 thoughts on “Around the System–Starting Pitching

  1. Look for Ben Lively to get the next call up to the Phillies, if and when they need another pitcher in the rotation.

    1. Wonder if it’ll be Nola given a couple starts rest where Lively fills in. Wouldn’t be surprised.

    2. I thought Thompson considering his AAA start to the season , but Lively has definitely made it decesion with the way he has pitched thus far

      1. I think that once they bring Thompson up, he’s here to stay. Lively fits the mold of getting that temporary assignment to fill a spot.

  2. Looks like Elniery Garcia is the sole starting LHP above Lakewood that would seem to be a prospect. I guess there will be hope for JoJo and Cole Irvin.
    Matt Imhof seems to be up and down….and now a reliever it appears.

  3. Imhof just suffered a career-threatening eye injury. Got rushed to the hospital for emergency eye surgery after an exercise band snapped while he was stretching and hit him in the eye

    1. Yes saw that incident …Jim P. reported that in the box Recap this morning…..
      ‘result of an equipment malfunction. He underwent surgery and may need additional procedure(s)’.
      “Matt Imhof suffered an injury due to a training accident after Friday night’s game. He has been added to the disabled list. No further information is available at this time.”

  4. Thank you Jim for all the detailed reports. I really look forward to reading it every morning. It’s my morning paper.

  5. Top 10 regardless of proximity.
    1. Thompson
    2. Efflin
    3. Medina
    4. Lively
    5. Garcia
    6. Appel
    7. Gowdy
    8. Anderson
    9. KilomilomeEshelman
    Hon. Mention Leftwich, Falter, Pivetta, Viza

    Now tear it apart lol

    1. He has to prove that he can do it clean for me…not sure where Pinto fits but should be there or close.

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