The other day, I was watching the MLB channel and they were talking about the Pirates and their lack of a left-handed starter. They are not the only team without a lefty in its rotation. The Phillies have 16 starting pitchers on their 40-man roster. Only Adam Morgan and Elniery Garcia are southpaws but are not projected to make its MLB opening day starting rotation.
Add five right-handed starters, who are listed on the Reading roster, the Phillies have 21 starting pitchers and only two of them are lefties. Not to mention RHP Franklyn Kilome who fired 20 straight shutout innings to end last season with Lakewood.
To start the 2017 baseball season blog, let’s take a look at Phillies left handed starting pitching help that might be on the way some day down the road.
The Phillies might have two of the top younger left-handed starters in the minor leagues. In 2016, the 22-year-old Garcia went 13-4 for Clearwater and Reading. Another interesting southpaw, 20-year Denny Martinez was 9-2 pitching in the Dominican Summer League.
Combined, these two lefties went 22-6 in the Phillies organization in 2016. Not too many other MLB organizations can boost such numbers by young lefty starters!
Both of them finished strong. Garcia went 3-0 allowing only four earned runs and striking out 22 in his last 20 innings in his final three starts at A+ and AA, including playing the stopper role in two games with playoff elimination implications.
Martinez went 8-1 over his last ten starts in the DSL with a 1.33 ERA, striking out 60 in 54.1 innings.
Watch HERE, when Garcia struck out 11 in seven innings in his final Florida State League start against Dunedin. Then he went on and struck out the side in turn in the second inning of his winning debut in the Eastern League Playoffs against Trenton. Watch HERE.
Martinez caught our attention when he struck out Joey Curletta in a Fall Instructs game. Watch HERE. The Phillies acquired Curletta in the Carlos Ruiz deal last Fall from the Dodgers. He finished up last season in the AA, Texas League.
The Phillies have several other starting left-handed pitchers who pitched rookie ball and are worth watching when minor league spring training opens up. They include:
Bailey Falter. Watch HERE, Falter get a ground out in a Fall Instructs game.
Nick Fanti. Watch, HERE, Fanti get a strike out in the GCL Finals against the GCL Cardinals.
Kyle Young. Watch HERE, as one of the tallest pitchers in baseball, the 6’10” Young gets several strikeouts in the GCL Finals.
Manuel Silva. Watch HERE, the 18- year-old who pitched in the DSL gets a pop out in a Fall Instructs game.
So when you come to Clearwater for Spring Training keep a eye out for the Phillies left-handed starting pitching prospects. The team has a need! Since Garcia is on the 40-man roster he could pitch in the first game against the University of Tampa on February 23rd.