Last night it was great relief pitching that paved the way for the Phillies 6-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. The only other win in the Phillies organization yesterday was provided in part by Clearwater Threshers starting pitcher Julian Garcia. He pitched seven strong innings to get a 3-1 win over Jupiter.
Saturday should be another test of Phillies minor league pitching. A top pitching prospect at high A, Damon Jones, gets the nod in a start for Clearwater against Jupiter. Jones leads the Florida State League in strikeouts with 59 in 40 innings of work so far.
At low A, we will be watching the best pitcher in all of New Zealand, Kyle Glogoski. He gets his first start in the Lakewood’s piggyback system of pitching development. Glogoski has been outstanding so far pitching in the middle of the games for a not-so-good Blue Claws team. So far he has struck out 17 in 11.1 innings.
At the major league level the Phillies will always need bullpen help. Of late, the starters have not gone deep into games. Aaron Nola was yanked in his last start in the sixth inning after throwing only 93 pitches in 5.1 innings. Last night, Phillies starter Jerad Eichkoff lasted only three innings but the pen was strong, throwing six innings and striking out ten to preserve the win.
A bullpen at any level that pitches six innings in a game too many times will burn out from overuse. The Phillies have some good young arms in the pen on the way at the minor league level. JD Hammer struck out three in two shutout innings to get a win in his first relief appearance for Lehigh Valley. JD has just been called up to the Phillies to replace the injured Pat Neshek. Connor Brogdon came on and struck out the side in one inning for Reading in his last relief appearance. Since his call up from Clearwater, he has struck out 12 in seven innings but has been hurt by three homers. Lefty Jonathan Hennigan has pitched 3.1 innings of shutout relief for the Fightin Phils since his call up from Clearwater. All of them could see time in the Phillies pen at some point this season.
Now, it’s off to watch MiLB-TV to watch Kyle Glogoski make his debut as a starter for Lakewood and then maybe watch JD Hammer in relief in the Show in Milwaukee. See you later!
Update: Glogoski threw 66 pitches, 49 for strikes, allowing two hits, no run, no walks and struck out 11 in his five inning start. He faced 17 batters and left with Lakewood leading 1-0 after five innings.
Update: Damon Jones strikes out 10 in 5.2 innings to get the 4-2 win for the Clearwater Threshers. He now leads the Florida State League in strikeouts with 69 in only 45.2 innings. His 1.58 ERA is the third lowest among qualifying pitchers in the league.