The really big question remains “Do the Phillies have Enough Starting Pitching to Win the N.L. East? Philly,com Bob Brookover asked that question in today’s Extra Innings column, Read HERE.
Brookover points out that the current projected Phillies starting pitching had an ERA of 3.93 in 2018 which ranks fourth among the projected starters of the five teams in the N.L. East. We can only hope that the Phillies starters can lower their ERA with another year of experience this season. Today, we learned that starters Jake Arrieta had knee surgery on his left knee over the winter and Jerad Eickhoff still is bothered by carpal tunnel syndrome which sidelined him most of last season.
Now that J.T. Realmuto is signed, sealed and delivered the offense is taking shape. The signing of Bryce Harper would fill a big hole in right field where the current placeholder in right field, Nick Williams, hit only .224 last season with runners in scoring position. Still, it is the starting pitching that will likely hold the key to the Phillies hopes of playing in the post season.
The Phillies have invited several interesting minor league roster starting pitchers to the major league camp including lefties, Cole Irvin, AAA and JoJo Romero, AA. Adonis Medina, High A, who is on the 40-man roster will also get a look.
In my opinion, three more starters also were equally impressive in 2018 but were not invited to the major league camp. They can be called over to the big league spring camp on a game-by-game basis. They include RHP Mauricio Llovera, High A, LHP David Parkinson, High A and RHP Spencer Howard, Low A.
All three of these guys will end the 2019 season at baseball age 23. Even though they were not invited to the major league spring training camp, at some point during the upcoming season I would hope to see at least one of them get “the call to the Show”! The major league call came for 22-year-old Kyle Kendrick in the middle of the 2007 season. In his rookie season, he went 10-4 for the Phillies. He also started a game in the 2007 NLDS. He was not invited to that year’s Phillies major league spring training camp.