Around the System–Starting Pitching; LV, Reading and CW

Lehigh Valley

David Buchanan, 27, Phils 7th round pick in 2010; 21 games; 8-6 with a 3.83ERA; 131.2IP 125H 30BB 70K; 13HR allowed; .252 opp avg; 1.18WHIP; 1.19 GO/AO; .231 vs LHH, .264 vs RHH, .194 opp avg last 30 days; 2.1BB/4.8K per 9; After really struggling up until the seasons mid point, Buchanan has been excellent of late, going 4-1 with a 1.42ERA since the All Star break.

Phil Klein, 27, Signed off of waivers in 2016; 8 games, 4 starts, 1-1 with a 2.13ERA for Lehigh Valley; 25.1IP 20H 6BB 25K; .215 opp avg; 1.03WHIP; 1.00 GO/AO; 2.1BB/8.9K per 9; Klein has thrown well for Lehigh Valley in varied roles but I dont expect him to make a long term Phillies impact

Ben Lively, 24, Acquired from Reds in 2014; 23 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 14-4 with a 2.80ERA; 141.2IP 105H 39BB 111K; 9HR allowed; .203 opp avg; 1.02WHIP; 0.83 GO/AO; 2.5BB/7.1K per 9; 7-4 with a 3.35ERA in 14 starts for Lehigh Valley; .213 opp avg; 1.06WHIP; Lively has had an excellent year, throwing as many innings as anyone in the organization and throwing consistently well.

Adam Morgan, 26, Phils 3rd round pick in 2011; 8 games, 6-1 with a 3.04ERA; 50.1IP 43H 10BB 52K; 4HR allowed; 1.8BB/9.3K per 9; .157 vs LHH, .261 vs RHH, .209 opp avg last 30 days; Morgan won the IL Player of the week last week for his two outstanding performances and his work since being sent down from Philly has been stellar (2.76ERA in 5 starts).  

Anthony Vasquez, 29, Re-signed as free agent in 2016; 23 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 10-3 with a 3.33ERA; 143.1IP 142H 36BB 98K; 11HR allowed; .264 opp avg; 1.24 WHIP; 0.93 GO/AO; 2.3BB/6.2K per 9; For LV: 7 starts, 2-0 with a 3.16ERA; .266 opp avg; 1.27 WHIP; Vasquez just keeps going out there and getting the job done, no matter if its for Reading or Lehigh Valley, 3 days rest or 4 days rest.  As a 29 year old, he is not a “prospect”, however a much needed competent arm in the upper levels of the farm system.


Tom Eshelman, 22, Acquired from Houston in 2015; 19 starts; 7-4 with a 4.18ERA between Clearwater and Reading; 94.2IP 105H 23BB 92K; 9HR allowed; .275 opp avg; 1.35 WHIP; 1.21 GO/AO; 2.2BB/8.7K per 9; For Reading: 8 starts; 2-2 with a 5.60ERA; .311 opp avg; 1.67 WHIP; Eshelman was very good in CLearwater, was promoted and has been hit hard other than his last start for Reading.  Suspecting he is wearing down a bit after limited work last year after being drafted.

Mark Leiter, 25, Phils 22nd round pick in 2013; 17 games (11 starts); 5-1 with a 3.42ERA; 73.2IP 57H 21BB 61K; 7HR allowed; .216 opp avg; 1.06WHIP; 1.00 GO/AO; 2.6BB/7.5K per 9; .212 vs LHH, .219 vs RHH, .236 opp avg last 30 days; Leiter has done a very nice job this year after missing the first part of the season injured.

Ricardo Pinto, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2011; 22 starts; 4-4 with a 4.18ERA; 127IP 127H 39BB 88K; 17HR allowed; .260 opp avg; 1.31WHIP; 1.01 GO/AO; 2.8BB/6.2K per 9; .259 vs LHH, .261 vs RHH; .219 last 30 days; An up and down year for Pinto who was excellent in 2015.  The home run ball has killed him.  2.93ERA post all star break.

Nick Pivetta, 23, Acquired from Washington in 2015; 22 starts, 11-6 with a 3.41ERA; 124IP 108H 41BB 111K; 10HR allowed; .235 opp avg; 1.20WHIP; 1.08 GO/AO; 3.0BB/8.1K per 9; .255 vs LHH, .218 vs RHH, .222 opp avg last 30 days.  A very positive year for Pivetta who has been very consistent and is on track for a spot in the Lehigh Valley rotation in 2016.

Tyler Viza, 21, Phils 32nd round pick in 2013; 20 starts between CLearwater and Reading; 10-5 with a 3.57ERA; 116IP 119H 20BB 97K; .262 opp avg; 1.20WHIP; 0.97GO/AO; 1.6BB/7.5K per 9; 11 starts for Reading, 4-3 with a 4.34ERA; .253 opp avg; 1.15WHIP; 1.6BB/5.7K per 9; Viza’s last outing was a rare poor outing in a year where he continues to establish consistency through extremely good command.


Drew Anderson, 22, Phils 21st round pick in 2012; 12 starts between Lakewood and Clearwater; 2-3 with a 3.03ERA; 59.1IP 47H 19BB 65K; 3HR allowed; .223 opp avg; 1.11WHIP; 0.79 GO/AO; 2.9BB/9.9K per 9; For Clearwater: 5 starts, 1-0 with a 2.45ERA; .228 opp avg; 1.14 WHIP. Anderson hit the mound in late May after returning from Tommy John surgery and has been impressive.  Still not totally stretched out but progressing how you would hope.

Luke Leftwich, 22, Phils 7th round pick in 2015; 19 starts between Lakewood and CLearwater; 9-6 with a 3.30ERA; 101IP 95H 30BB 120K; .249 opp avg; 1.24WHIP; 0.83 GO/AO; 2.7BB/10.7K; 5HR allowed; For CW: 7 starts; 5.94ERA; .296 opp avg; 1.56WHIP; 3.2BB/8.6K per 9; Leftwich dominated in Lakewood and has struggled in Clearwater, however has the “stuff” to adjust long term.

Brandon Leibrandt, 23, Phils 7th round pick in 2014; Just made his first start for Clearwater after missing the first several months of the season injured.  Gave up 4 runs on 7 hits in five innings of work.

John Richy, 24, Acquired from Dodgers in 2014; 18 games between Reading and Clearwater; 6-7 with a 4.52ERA; 89.2IP 94H 34BB 58K; 7HR allowed; .273 opp avg; 1.43WHIP; 0.78 GO/AO; 3.5BB/5.9K per 9; For CW: 10 starts, 3.53ERA; .259 opp avg; 1.24 WHIP; Interesting year for Richy, who started injured, looked consistently poor for Reading and has come back to pitch fairly well for Clearwater.

Shane Watson, 23, Phils Comp Rd pick in 2012; 18 games between Lakewood and CLearwater; 6-6 with a 3.69ERA; 97.2IP 94H 35BB 77K; .254 opp avg; 1.32WHIP; 1.23 GO/AO; 3.2BB/7.1K per 9; 11 starts for Clearwater; 4.01ERA; .274 opp avg; 1.47WHIP; 3.7BB/6.9K per 9.  This was probably a make it or break it year for Watson who has shown enough promise to earn him another year with the organization.  He has pitched as well this year as at any time since being drafted.

Ranfi Casimiro, 24, Signed as a free agent in 2010; 18 games (17 starts); 8-7 with a 5.09ERA; 88.1IP 94H 27BB 70K; .271 opp avg; 1.37 WHIP; 1.38 GO/AO; 2.8BB/7.1K per 9; .241 vs LHH, .290 vs RHH, .289 opp avg last 30 days.  Not a good year for Casimiro who was recently moved out of the rotation.

DL: Eineiry Garcia, Matt Imhof

13 thoughts on “Around the System–Starting Pitching; LV, Reading and CW

  1. How’s the “pitch to contact” crew feeling about Eflin?

    bottom line. you have to be able to make people swing and miss in the major leagues.

    1. I feel a little nervous, but it is a SSS as a 22-year old, but still have faith in his abilities to adjust…and might as well put Thompson in the question also, since that is his MO these days as a Phillies prospect and pitcher.
      With last night’s game he just passed his max innings pitched from prior years, so will be interesting to see how long he goes this season and also what adjustments they want him to make.

      1. Jake has a reputation as having a very good slider as an out pitch. I view his first game as just nerves. I am MUCH higher on JT than on Eflin, whom never had even a respectable K rate in milb.

    2. You are right on the “pitch to contact” point. My feelings on Eflin, however, have always been that he throws hard enough and has good enough command that he should be able to develop swing and miss stuff over time. He’s 22, it’s not like he’s done developing but you’re right – he needs to develop that skill.

      As much as an pitcher I’ve seen in the system, I think Eflin would benefit from adding a cutter to his repertoire, but it’s probably not happening with McClure as his pitching coach, who emphasizes curves and sliders. He’s more likely to throw a spliter with McClure than he is a cutter.

    3. I think if you are a pitch to contact pitcher you cannot throw belt high or tad above at 91-92 and expect not to get hammered. Eflin and Thompson were both up in the zone. But, we need to give them a chance to work some of this out after all Thompson had to be nervous for his first outing.

  2. everyone is going to be interested in Kilome going forward since he’s arguably the only guy in the system who has top of rotation stuff.

    if my math is correct, if you exclude his first 3 starts of the year (where he got beat up), he has a 2.97 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 79 innings pitched, which i believe is a 10.19 K/9 rate and is excellent. 33 walks over that time which i believe is a 3.77 BB/9 rate and is not good. this is all down in lakewood of course.

  3. I think you need to strike a balance between pitching to contact and striking guys out. At this level, you can’t always pitch to contact all the time. Sure, you’ll have a game like Eflin had against the Pirates when everything breaks right. But the margin of error is tiny. Eflin has the arm to reach 94. I think he could throw more 4 seamers and try to strike guys out.

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