Around the System–Starting Pitching

Lehigh Valley

Enyel De Los Santos, 22, Acquired from San Diego in 2018; 4 starts; 4-0 with an 0.84ERA; 32.1IP 24H 13BB 39K; .203 opp avg; 1.13WHIP; 3.6BB/10.9K per 9; .184 vs LHH; .217 vs RHH; Has been outstanding this season after being acquired in the Freddy Galvis deal.

Jacob Waguespack; 23, Signed as a free agent in 2015; 7 games (6 starts) between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 0-3 with a 5.23ERA; 31IP 35H 17BB 31K; .280 opp avg; 1.68WHIP; 4.9BB/9.0K per 9; Has flip flopped between Reading and LV whenever an extra starter has been needed and has done a serviceable job in a difficult role.

Tom Eshelman, 23, Acquired from Houston in 2015; 7 starts; 1-3 with a 6.87ERA; 36.2IP 57H 14BB 32K; 7HR allowed; .358 opp avg; 1.94WHIP; 3.4BB/7.9K per 9; .378 vs LHH; .341 vs RHH; 7 HR allowed; Eshelman started the season on the verge of breaking through to the big club and has seemingly forgotten how to pitch through the first 6 weeks.  After holding the opposition to a .227 average last season in AAA, something is amiss.

Cole Irvin, 23, Phils 5th round pick in 2016; 7 starts; 3-1 with a 3.21ERA: 42IP 34H 11BB 37K; .224 opp avg; 1.07WHIP; 2.4BB/7.9K per 9; .139 vs LHH, .250 vs RHH; It quickly putting himself on the forefront of the radar screen, especially with his left arm.

Ben Lively, 26, Acquired from Cincinnati in 2014; Has made one start for Lehigh Valley and did not allow an ER in 5IP.  Sent down after coming off the DL in Philly.  Was 0-2 with a 6.85ERA for the Phils before getting injured.



Harold Arauz, 22, Acquired from Houston in 2015; 7 starts; 3-1 with a 4.34ERA; 37.1IP 35H 11BB 33K; .254 opp avg; 1.23 WHIP; 2.7BB/8.0K per 9; .267 vs LHH; .238 vs RHH; Arauz has been a tick above average through the  early going.

Elneiry Garcia, 23, Signed as a free agent in 2012; 4 starts; 0-3 with a 5.57ERA; 21IP 27H 10BB 12K; .297 opp avg; 1.76WHIP; 4.3BB/5.1K per 9; .385 vs LHP; .282 vs RHP; The results have not been pretty this season for Garcia.

Franklyn Kilome, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2013; 6 starts, 1-1 with a 5.74ERA; 26.2IP 26H 12BB 34K; .263 opp avg; 1.43WHIP; 4.1BB/11.5K per 9; .381 vs LHH, .175 vs RHH; Kilome needs to learn how to be effective on those nights when he doesn’t have his best stuff.  Walks have really hurt him and has not been able to get out left handed hitters

JoJo Romero, 21, Phils 4th round pick in 2016; 7 starts; 0-4 with a 6.38ERA; 36.2IP 43H 19BB 31K; .291 opp avg; 1.69WHIP; 4.7BB/7.6K per 9; .206 vs LHH, .316 vs RHH; 6HR allowed; Romero was(is) a guy I have huge hopes for in 2018.  His walk rate has spiked, K rate has dropped and is giving up the homerun ball.  His fastball is down a couple of ticks and I wonder whether he is hurting..?

Ranger Suarez, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2012; 6 starts; 1-2 with a 4.25ERA; 36IP 36H 9BB 30K; .267 opp avg; 1.25WHIP; 2.3BB/7.5K per 9; .256 vs LHH, .271 vs RHH; Suarez had been the most consistent Reading starter before being placed on the DL last week.


Bailey Falter, 21, Phils 5th round pick in 2015; 6 starts; 4-0 with a 1.83ERA: 34.1IP 25H 7BB 35K; 1HR allowed; .202 opp avg; 0.93WHIP; 1.8BB/9.1K per 9; .241 vs LHH, .171 vs RHH; After an excellent 2017 in Lakewood, he has been just as good for the Threshers if not better.

Mauricio Llovera, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 6 games (5 starts); 2-2 with a 2.30ERA; 27.1IP 21H 12BB 33K; .210 opp avg; 1.21WHIP; 4.0BB/10.9K per 9; .182 vs LHH, .244 vs RHH; Has thrown very well transitioning into the Threshers rotation.

Adonis Medina, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2013; 6 starts; 3-2 with a 4.55ERA: 27.2IP 29H 11BB 21K; .266 opp avg; 1.45WHIP; 3.6BB/6.8K per 9; .286 vs LHH, .250 vs RHH; Medina is still working to successfully transition to High A, after a very good 2017 with Lakewood.

McKenzie Mills, 22, Acquired from Washington in 2017; 6 starts; 0-2 with a 5.00ERA: 27IP 32H 8BB 23K; .283 opp avg; 1.48WHIP; 2.7BB/7.7K per 9; .333 vs LHH, .267 vs RHH; Mills game is precision and he has been less precise than in years past which has cost him.

Sixto Sanchez, 19, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 5 starts, 2-2 with a 3.58ERA; 27.2IP 29H 8BB 23K; .261 opp avg; 1.34 WHIP; 2.6BB/7.5K per 9; .250 vs LHH, .273 vs RHH; I expect Sanchez to have thrown about 120 innings with an ERA around 3.00 by years end…

Connor Seabold, 22, Phils 3rd round pick in 2017; 6 starts; 0-2 with a 4.73ERA; 32.1IP 28H 10BB 34k; .228 OPP AVG; 1.18whip; 2.8BB/9.5K per 9; .250 vs LHH, .206 vs RHH; Seabold has pitched into some hard luck this year.  Clearly very skilled, I see him in Reading before the end of the season


Connor Brogdon, 23, Phils 10th round pick in 2017; 6 starts; 1-2 with a 3.95ERA; 27.1IP 27H 8BB 27K; .260 opp avg; 1.28WHIP; 2.6BB/8.8K per 9; .271 vs LHH, .244 vs RHH; Brogdon has been solid.

Spencer Howard, 21, Phils 2nd round pick in 2017; 6 starts; 3-2 with a 2.89ERA; 28IP 23H 5BB 39K; .221 opp avg; 1.00WHIP; 1.6BB/12.5K per 9; .189 vs LHH, .300 vs RHH; Howard has dominated and he could move quickly to Clearwater when the 2018 draft class comes in.

Damon Jones, 23, Phils 18th round pick in 2017; 6 starts; 2-1 with a 2.10ERA; 30IP 22H 14BB 29K; .204 opp avg; 1.20WHIP; 4.2BB/8.7K per 9; .220 vs LHH, .194 vs RHH; Walks need to come down a tick, but Jones has been excellent overall.

David Parkinson, 22, Phils 12th round pick in 2017; 6 starts; 3-1 with a 2.33ERA; 27IP 28H 17BB 30K; .264 opp avg; 1.67 WHIP; 5.7BB/10.0K per 9; .391 vs LHH, .167 vs RHH; Parkinson’s command needs work as does his work against left handed hitters.

Ramon Rosso, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2016; 7 starts; 1-0 with an 0.93ERA; 38.2IP 23H 12BB 52K; .177 opp avg; 0.91WHIP; 2.8BB/12.1K per 9; .108 vs LHH , .268 vs RHH; Simply wow.

Will Stewart, 20, Phis 20th round pick in 2015; 6 starts; 4-0 with a 1.46ERA; 37IP 29H 5BB 31K; .213 opp avg; 0.92WHIP; 1.2BB/8.7K per 9; .250 vs LHH, .198 vs RHH; Has the best walk rate among all starters in the Phils minor league system. That is leading to a ton of success.

36 thoughts on “Around the System–Starting Pitching

  1. Do not think JoJo Romero is hurting…anyway according to what Steve Schrenk said the other night to Jay Floyd:
    “…I don’t think he’s satisfied with what he’s doing right now. It’s been just a couple innings here and there for the most part. It’s been a couple pitches, a couple innings. I think for the most part he’s been throwing the ball okay. He needs to be a little more consistent with the strike zone and using his off-speed pitches for strikes. But, he’s done a good job. It’s like I said, a couple innings here, a couple big hits. I think he’ll be right out of the funk that he’s in, in a little bit and get it going. ”

    I assume they may have want to shut him down if he had any ailments..

    1. The jump from Clearwater to Reading is enormous for a pitcher – it’s almost like jumping two levels. Expect a minimum of 2-3 months of performance regression from a pitcher who is promoted to Reading.

    2. I had also been wondering if JoJo was pitching with some sort of injury (even some sort of nagging injury). His velo has has been down a few MPH from last season. Then Keith Law (who was in Trenton to see Romero) tweeted this:

      KLaw has liked Romero. In fact, he checked in at #59 on Law’s preseason top 100. and included this in JoJo’s writeup … “He’s a bit undersized, but the four-pitch mix, command and ability to miss bats all point to a future as a starter, probably a good No. 3 or a little above average.”
      Last week, Law published an updated scouting report on Romero after seeing him in Trenton. Here’s what he said:

      “Romero’s velocity had picked up late last year and he had held it into spring training, but he’d struggled to hold his stuff and keep runs off the board since the season began, bringing a 7.18 ERA into the Wednesday game through five starts. Romero started out heavy on two-seamers in the 86-89 range and his above-average changeup at 78-80 mph, with a few four-seamers at 89-90 early and one — a strikeout of Brandon Drury in the first — at an incongruous 94.

      Romero more or less pitched at those velocities, with an inconsistent 76-79 mph curveball, through four innings, giving up three runs, showing below-average command and control while looking stiff and unathletic on the mound, like something was bothering him physically. In the fifth inning, however, he turned everything up a notch and started pitching at 92-94, with more power to the breaking ball (which he threw to Drury’s back foot to strike out the rehabbing third baseman a second time), and by the sixth inning he was showing three above-average pitches. His final two pitches of the day, No. 99 and 100, both came in at 95 mph for Romero’s seventh strikeout of the day.

      I hadn’t seen Romero live before Wednesday so if there was a mechanical difference here I couldn’t tell you that from this look. I did notice early in the outing he was rolling or spinning off his front foot when he landed, which at the very least can pull a pitcher off line and cost him command. Otherwise, he has a starter’s delivery and gets on top of the ball well from a 3/4 slot. Whatever was affecting him early in the outing — after two innings, he’d thrown 45 pitches and looked like he wasn’t long for the game — he got over it and pitched much more like a potential mid-rotation starter.”


      After all this, I’m still not sure whether something is ailing him or if it’s just an adjustment period Romero is going through.

      1. It sounds like a young player making mechanical adjustments on the fly, learning how to pitch against tougher competition and learning to develop and command his pitches. Just what you might expect of a young lefty.

  2. Overall thoughts. a great deal of inconsistency across the board which I guess is to be expected but a lot of talent. Nice thing is no reason to rush anyone given no current openings in philly. clearly the strength of the organization in minors. some guys like Arauz are probably topping out given their overall pitching arsenals

  3. I haven’t seen Cole Irvin pitch before but he seems like a good bet to be the guy that breaks the Phillies’ streak of RH starting pitchers.

    1. Love to see them bring back cole hamels , if cost isn’t too high in prospects, just to teach guys like Cole Irvin the changeup. Its a must pitch in todays all or nothing hitting style

      1. There’s not enough room for Cole Irvin and Enyel De Los Santos right now in the big league rotation. If we trade for Hamels, we will likely have to give up at least 2 pitching prospects not named Sixto and Medina.

        Would you trade Enyel De Los Santos and Nick Pivetta for Cole Hamels?

        1. no
          I want him basically for a salary dump to come and teach the changeup to young pitchers and give another veteran presence
          I’m thinking more like we eat his salary and give up Lively, Anderson ( when healty), etc
          guys like that
          no interest in trading any valuable talent
          just take on the salary

          1. Hamels may have declined, but he’s still better than average and he’s on pace for a 3+ WAR season. And $20M nowadays for a pitcher like Hamels is nothing. If the Phillies don’t trade for him, somebody else will and I’m hoping it’s not the Braves. But I believe Hamels still has a no trade clause for a list of teams and I hope the Braves are on that list.

        2. I just took a look at the Rangers’ roster. They are a complete mess of a team and they need almost everything.

          Here are the young guys I would NOT include in any trade of Hamels: Sanchez, Kingery, Franco, Cesar, Odubel, Crawford (if for no other reason than his trade value is less than his true worth), Pivetta, Nola (duh), Hoskins (duh # 2), Howard (I think this guy is going to be fantastic), De Los Santos (they caught lightning in a bottle with this guy) and Dominguez. I know he had a bad start, but I’d still be very reluctant to trade Ortiz.

          I do it for:

          1. VV and Nick Williams
          2. VV and two mid-level prospects (10-20)
          3. Gamboa and a mid-level pitching prospect and low level prospect
          4. Eickhoff and a top 5-10 prospect and low level prospect.

          FYI – all of MM, Randolph and Haseley would possible be in play in such a trade, although I’m not thrilled about the idea of trading Haseley yet – the other two – yeah, whatever.

  4. 2017 draft Class showing itself nicely. Howard , Seabold,Brodgon,Parkinson,Jones.
    The lefties Irvin, Ranger, Jojo,Falter, Stewart ,Mills all really coming along.
    Russo what a find plus slider already .

  5. the organization definitely seems to have a better feel for pitchers than hitters in their draft and international signings atleast in term of production and progress so far

    1. That’s what I’m thinking. They have done very well with pitchers in almost all phases of acquisition since around 2014 – this covers the new and old administration. Hitters less so.

  6. Tim, I think Mills came in from a trade, but you make a terrific point about the depth that draft seems to have created.Some really good pitching prospects, even if an Ace isn’t there, Major League Playoff team rotation Pitching is.

  7. What did the FO say “grow the Pitching buy the bats”. Sal A is sooooo Good at finding pitching in the LA markets . The Phillies can take more chance’s in the draft.

  8. It’s easy to forget how much younger Sanchez is than all of these other pitching prospects. He’s a special prospect.

  9. Jarod Eickhoff today 3.1 IP, 2 earned runs, 3 K’s. It’s a decent start, and it wouldn’t hurt to give him a couple more rehab starts. There’s no sense of urgency.

      1. rocco…alright ..i get it…..I see your game… have gone from the negadelphia rocco everyone knew….now to the sarcastically positive rocco.
        Trying to pull the wool over my eyes? 🙂

        1. It’s not going to work, rocco. Jim is still not going to let you post in the box score threads 🙂

      2. rocco … Jerad Eickhoff is to me what CeHe is to you … really good and really under-appreciated. When healthy, Eickhoff is a mid-rotation workhorse. He’ll give you a quality start on most nights.

        1. Eickhoff will never be as valuable as CeHe unless his velocity has returned and he ha developed a change-up that is at least average. Pivetta’s ceiling is likewise contingent on developing a change-up.

          1. what’s your feeling about Pivetta today? I think he used his curve & slider more than a change. Looked dominating, but the O’s lineup is extremely aggressive…

          2. Pivetta was throwing at least 4 pitches – 2 seam, 4 seam, slider and curve. He also threw a really nasty breaking pitch to record one of the strikeouts that could not have been a slider or a curve (both of which break to the left). This pitch broke to the right – it may have been a cutter, but it was lethal and essentially unhittable. People keep thinking about Pivetta as a #4, but he has TOR stuff including some devastating breaking pitches and he can throw his FB up in the zone and get swings and misses there. If his command of these pitches is good and his FB velocity remains in the 94-96 range, the sky’s the limit for him – he at least has the potential to be a #2. By the way folks, this is why you acquire young pitchers who throw hard. Some don’t make it, some become relievers and some become Pivetta.

      3. Anybody know what his fastball velocity was? He better be in the 91-93 range.

        1. It was 90-92. Didn’t have great command. Curve looked decent but other off-speed offerings seemed meh to me. He’s working his way back. If it were up to me I wouldn’t send him on the road; give him an extra day and let him start for IronPigs when they return on Monday.

          1. Their rotation is full of guys who are performing well right now. I’m not sure who you would kick off this rotation to make room for Eickhoff. Eflin has better pure stuff and is doing well and I wouldn’t want to mess with Velasquez given that he seems to be making real progress and has a higher ceiling. As far as I’m concerned, Eickhoff may have to become a long reliever for the time being.

            1. And, by the way, I like Eickhoff, but I’m just calling it as I see it.

  10. I’m guessing that Kapler will come up with a unique way of dealing with the problem. Let’s set the “Way Back” machine for last December: who thought that the Phillies would have too much good pitching?

    1. This is exactly why they loaded up on so many young pitchers when the rebuild began. Starting with the Rollins trade, here are the arms they’ve added:

      Windle, Eflin (for Rollins)
      Lively (for Anderson)
      Pivetta (for Papelbon)
      Asher, Eickhoff, Thompson (for Hamels)
      Cordero, Tirado (for Revere)
      Appel, Eshelman, Oberholzer, Velasquez (for Giles)

      That’s not counting trades for veterans like Morton, Hellickson, Venditte, Bucholtz, Neshek, etc. They’ve been loading up on arms, knowing that many will strike out (pardon the pun) but a few will hit.

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