It’s only three weeks into the minor league season but an early moving day has already come for the Clearwater Threshers. Closer Miguel Nunez is off to AA Reading.
We first saw Nunez as a starter two years ago with the Threshers. Last year he was a middle reliever for them. This season he morphed into one of the best closers in the Florida State League with his 96 MPH heat.
The Threshers are deep in good arms out of the pen. The next up to try his skill set in late inning relief will likely be Victor Arano.
Arano was a starter last season for the Threshers. He had an up and down season with a 4-12 record and a 4.76 ERA. He pitched well in relief in the Mexican-Pacific League over the winter and has adapted well so far in that role for the Threshers. He has struck out 14 in 10.1 innings.
Last Sunday he picked up his first hold to go with an earlier save. With Nunez moving up, Arano’s role will be expanded out of the pen.
With the Threshers on the road this week, we have had some time to watch some Extended Spring Training games on a far back field of the Carpenter Complex.
Will Stewart put on a show for us there. The 18-year-old left hander had little difficulty in dispatching the “Baby Bombers” who came over from the Yankees Complex on Tuesday. Watch his final two strikeouts in three innings of work HERE and HERE.
Stewart already seems like a “Yankee Killer”. In his last appearance in the GCL last season against the GCL Yankees he struck out five in three innings. Last Fall in Instructs he struck out four Yankees in two innings, watch HERE.
It looks like Stewart along with fellow lefties Nick Fanti and Bailey Falter will form part of what is shaping up to be a strong starting staff for the GCL Phillies when the Gulf Coast League season opens in later in June.
If the Phillies use their No. 1 overall draft pick to select a left handed pitcher as has been rumored, it will be interesting to watch some of the best young left-handed prospects in baseball pitch for the Phillies in the Gulf Coast League this summer.