Around the System–Starting Pitching

Lehigh Valley

Mark Appel, 25, Acquired from Houston in 2015; 8 starts, 2-2 with a 6.69ERA; 37.2IP 44H 19BB 26K; 8HR allowed; .291 opp avg; 1.67WHIP; 4.6BB/6.2K per 9; .338 vs LHH, .253 vs RHH, .284 opp avg in May; Among the league leaders in homers allowed and walks tells the story for Appel.  It has been an ugly season coming off his 2016 injury. Gave up 7ER in 3.1IP in his last start.

Tom Eshelman, 22, Acquired from Houston in 2015; 8 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 5-0 with a 2.08ERA; 52IP 42H 8BB 34K; .225 opp avg; 0.96 WHIP; 1.4BB/5.9K per 9; Has had quality starts in all 3 LV starts, going 3-0 with a 0.78ERA; .183 opp avg.  Eshelman has been outstanding all season, actually throwing better after his call up to AAA.

Ben Lively, 25, Acquired from Cinncinnati in 2014; 8 starts, 5-1 with a 2.79ERA; 48.1IP 41H 5BB 38K; 1HR allowed; .225 opp avg; 0.95WHIP; 0.9BB/7.2K per 9; .321 vs LHH, .154 vs RHH; I simply dont know what Lively has to do to get a major league start.  In 27 AAA starts spanning two seasons, he is 16-6 with an ERA of 2.97.  Lively to the Phils rotation, Velasquez to the Phils bullpen and Leiter or Garcia to the ‘Pigs is what should happen.

Ricardo Pinto, 23, SIgned as a free agent in 2011; 8 starts with a 5.85ERA; 40IP 51H 16BB 25K; .311 opp avg; 1.68 WHIP; 3.6BB/5.6K per 9; .306 vs LHH, .315 vs RHH, .393 opp avg in May; After a good first three starts, Pinto has been awful since.  Very hittable, too many walks and too few strikeouts.

Nick Pivetta, 24, Acquired from Washington in 2015; 3 starts, 3-0 with a 0.95ERA; 19IP 12H 2BB 24K; .174 opp avg; 0.74 WHIP; 0.9BB/11.4K per 9; Pivetta was outstanding in APril and got the call to Philly to replace Aaron Nola in the Phils rotation.  For Philadelphia, Pivetta was inconsistent in his 4 starts, going 0-2 with a 5.12ERA. He walked too many hitters and the opposition hit him at a .325 clip in the majors. With Nola’s return, Pivetta rejoins the ‘Pigs for some refinement.

Jake Thompson, 23, Acquired from Texas in 2015; 7 starts, 2-3 with a 4.91ERA; 33IP 32H 14BB 32K; .260 opp avg; 1.39WHIP; 3.8BB/8.7K per 9; .218 vs LHH, .294 vs RHH, .229 in May; Thompson has overcome just an awful start to throw well in  his last several starts.  Since allowing 15ER in his first two starts, spanning 4.2 innings, he has allowed just 3 ER in his next 4 starts, spanning 28.1IP.


Drew Anderson, 23, Phils 21st round pick in 2012; 8 starts; 3-1 with a 5.26ERA; 37.2IP 36H 9BB 32K; .250 opp avg; 1.19WHIP; .265 vs LHH, .237 vs RHH, .190 opp avg in May; 2.2BB/7.6K per 9; Anderson’s “stuff” is as good as any Phils starting pitcher at times, however he has been extremely inconsistent this season.

Brandon Leibrandt, 24, Phils 6th round pick in 2014; 7 starts, 3-1 with a 5.09ERA; 35.1IP 39H 9BB 29K; .291 opp avg; 1.36WHIP; 2.3BB/7.4K per 9; .174 vs LHH, .315 vs RHH, .320 opp avg in May; Again, a starter that has been extremely inconsistent this season. The very good starts have been matched by the very poor.

John Richy, 24, Acquired from the Dodgers in 2015; 3 starts, 1-1 with a 6.14ERA; 14.2IP 20H 4BB 9K; .328 opp avg; 1.64 WHIP; 2.5BB/5.5K per 9; Richy was activated on May 10th and each of his three starts have been poor.

Tyler Viza, 22, Phils 32nd round pick in 2013; 8 starts, 2-3 with a 6.94ERA; 36.1IP 48H 11BB 23K; .318 opp avg; 1.62WHIP; 2.7BB/5.7K per 9; .338 vs LHH, .299 vs RHH, .307 opp avg in May; Viza has been hit around as much as any Phillies Minor league starter.

Shane Watson, 23, Phils Comp round pick in 2012; 7 starts, 2-2 with a 5.12ERA; 31.1IP 41H 14BB 16K; .315 opp avg; 1.76WHIP; 4.0BB/4.6K per 9; 6HR allowed; .371 vs LHH, .250 vs RHH; ,379 opp avg in May; Based on the peripherals, I am surprised the 5.12ERA is not worse. Watson has been consistently hit and is giving up 1.7 HR per game.


Cole Irvin, 23, Phils 5th round pick in 2016; 7 starts, 3-4 with a 2.14ERA; 42IP 44H 7BB 31K; .267 opp avg; 1.21 WHIP; 1.5BB/6.6K per 9; .275 vs LHH, .264 vs RHH, .324 opp avg in May; Irvin started the season pitching very well.  His last start was his only “below average” start all year.

Franklyn Kilome, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2013; 7 starts, 2-2 with a 3.98ERA; 31.2IP 36H 11BB 32K; .286 opp avg; 1.48 WHIP; .283 vs LHH, .288 vs RHH; 3.1BB/9.2K per 9; Kilome has been throwing a notch below expectations, however the talent is very clear when you watch him and I am looking for him to come on strong.

Jose Taveras, 23, Signed as a free agent in 2013; 8 starts, 4-2 with a 2.36ERA; 49.2IP 43H 15BB 49K; .230 opp avg; 1.18WHIP; 2.7BB/8.9K per 9; .205 vs LHH, .246 vs RHH, .204 opp avg in May; Taveras has been excellent all season, after a very good 2016 in Lakewood.

Alberto Tirado, 22, Acquired from Toronto in 2015; 7 starts, 2-3 with a 4.86ERA; 33.1IP 33H 21BB 31K; 5.7BB/8.7K per 9; .371 vs LHH, .227 vs RHH, .372 opp avg in May; .268 opp avg; 1.62 WHIP; Walking six hitters a game is simply not going to work long-term.  His walk rate last year (5.8 per 9) mirrors where Tirado is at this season.  Combine that with getting hit hard by left-handed hitters and there is much work to do.

Blake Quinn, 23, Phils 9th round pick in 2016; 7 starts, 1-2 with a 5.58ERA; 30.2IP 45H 11BB 26K; 8HR allowed; .263 vs LHH, .398 vs RHH, .429 opp avg in May; 3.2BB/7.6K per 9; Quinn has been  getting hit hard consistently all season.  Giving up 2.3HR per game.


Bailey Falter, 20, Phils 5th round pick in 2015; 7 starts, 1-2 with a 3.89ERA; 37IP 36H 5BB 28K; .252 opp avg; 1.11WHIP; 1.2BB/6.8K per 9; .234 vs LHH, .266 vs RHH, .225 opp avg in May; Good numbers and good progress for Falter who threw well in his 13 starts for WIlliamsport in 2016.

Nick Fanti, 20, Phils 31st round pick in 2015; 7 starts, 3-0 with a 1.52ERA; 41.1IP 20H 13BB 44K; .139 opp avg; 0.80 WHIP; 2.8BB/9.6K per 9; .111 vs LHH, .152 vs RHH, .092 opp avg.  Fanti has been exceptional in the large majority of his starts this season.

Adonis Medina, 20, SIgned as a free agent in 2013; 7 starts, 1-3 with a 2.70ERA; 36.2IP 31H 12BB 45K; 1HR allowed; 2.9BB/11.0K per 9; .262 vs LHH, .194 vs RHH, .228 opp avg in May; Absent one poor outing, Medina has been excellent showing “swing and miss” ability.

JoJo Romero, 20, Phils 4th round pick in 2016; 7 starts, 2-1 with a 2.11ERA; 38.1IP 26H 17BB 40K; .194 opp avg; 1.12WHIP; 4.0BB/9.4K per 9; .111 vs LHH, .236 vs RHH, .159 opp avg in May.  I have watched Romero several times and really like what I see.  Control issues need to be minimized.

Ranger Suarez, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2011; 7 starts, 2-1 with a 2.43ERA; 37IP 29H 12BB 46K; .220 opp avg; 1.11WHIP; 2.9BB/11.2K per 9; .154 vs LHH, .247 vs RHH, .293 opp avg in May; If I were to pick one pitcher that is ready to move to CLearwater, Suarez would be the guy I would move.   He has thrown well consistently and knows how to pitch,

19 thoughts on “Around the System–Starting Pitching

  1. Lively to the Phillies rotation I agree.
    Velasquez to the Phillies bullpen.. I disagree.
    Rather he be to the LHV rotation for a half-dozen starts to regroup, with little to no pressure in Allentown
    He has one option remaining this year I believe, might as well use it for his benefit. Helped Roy H 15 years ago, maybe it will do the same with ViVe..

    1. VV also needs some Doc/Dorfman in his head. I agree a one month stay at Lehigh is in order.

    2. Way to short sighted to move VV to the bullpen now. I would rather move to a 6 man rotation to make room for Lively, before moving him there

  2. Is there a reason you omitted our best starting pitching prospect – Sanchez?

    1. catch….I think since he and Seranthony D. are now on the Williamsport roster

      1. I think they are both on that roster now because they are injured, not because they have truly been demoted. Sanchez’s injury sounds minor. I have no idea how serious Seranthony’s injury might be.

  3. Does the lack of systemic success from the big club on down have anyone else thinking we need to gut the entire pitching coach staff or is it a true lack of prospects (maybe a little of both?)?

    It just seems like we have really been struggling in terms of development in this area. That said, I haven’t looked at other orgs, so my observations are basically in a vacuum.

    1. People on this board tend to say only great things about Ray Burris.

      But I agree with your point–so many disappointments this season, you’d think the coaching is part of the problem.

  4. I think Philly made a big mistake trading Alec Asher to Baltimore for cash or player to be named later.

      1. Now i would have dropped morgan first. makes sense, but asher still isnt anything to brag about. But morgan has shown nothing, last two season

    1. Wayne are you asher brother or father. The man stinks. How many times are you going to post the same thing.he has pitched 27 innnings so far his career whip is 1,27 he is nothing

    2. Don’t know that it was a big mistake but there were other options they had to clear space on the 40-man roster. He’s been solid in limited action the last 2 seasons..

    3. Can we get Buck Showalter to come to Philadelphia? The man always seem to find his pitchers and players strengths and use them in the right situation. Charlie Manuel always spoke of putting his players in a position to succeed. Asher could have helped this team somehow.

  5. Roccom, Alec has pitched good every year. He stepped in when they needed a starter and now he is filling in for the injured closer.

  6. Lively . 321 against LHH .154 against RHH maybe a nice Bp piece. Liebrandt is real!y a BP piece with a great pick off move.

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