Naming the four Phillies starting pitching “aces” of a few season ago and their minor league colleague “baby aces” of about the same time are now slowly fading into the lost memories of time and will become a baseball trivia question in a few years. Yes, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay are still around for the Phillies but only Lee has gotten off to a good start this season. At the minor league level after week one of the 2013 season and one trip through the starting rotations for the four Phillies minor league teams at each level “new aces” have emerged to carry on the mantle of “baby aces”: Adam Morgan at AAA, Jesse Biddle at AA, Perci Garner at high A and Shane Watson at low A.
All of the Phillies minor league “new 2013 Baby Aces” pitched six innings in their first starts which qualifies in baseball parlance as quality starts as long as they give up three runs or less. Morgan made only one bad pitch for Lehigh Valley against Syracuse and it resulted in a two run homer. Adam gave no more runs the rest of the game. Biddle allowed only one run and two hits in his winning start for Reading against New Hampshire. Garner was the best of the foursome giving up only one hit in the first inning for Clearwater against the Dunedin Blue Jays and then retired the next 16 batters in order and faced the minimum of 18 batters over six innings. Lakewood’s Shane Watson, last year’s Phillies No. 1 draft pick, also limited Kannapolis to a run and two hits in his six inning start.
We salute the “new Baby Aces” of the Phillies minor league system for week one. Let’s hope they continue to dominate on the mound with quality starts all season long.