All Philly fans wanted to blog about today is David O. Herrera, a.k.a El Torito. The way things are going, the “little bull” will soon be just a footnote in Phillies history. One Venezuelan who will be part of Phillies history for a long time is 19-year old pitcher Francisco Morales.
Now in his third year in the Phillies system, Morales is on the verge of being someone very special. In his two previous appearances prior to yesterday, one in relief and one as a starter, he pitched a combined six innings allowing three hits, no runs, walking one and striking out 16.
In yesterday’s piggyback game out of the pen, Morales came on to pitch 2.2 innings and added four more strikeouts. In his last three appearances over 9.2 innings combined, he has struck out 20. The only problem on Monday, he ran out of gas in his third inning of work and had to be removed after giving up 3 runs.
Still, Morales is someone special. It’s hard to figure out his pitch speed but the Lakewood play-by-play guys told us on MiLB-TV that the scoreboard speed reading there is two miles slow. At times yesterday, he was throwing his fastball in the mid to high-90’s to go with a mid-8o’s slider on the MiLB-TV reading. He has top-of-the rotation stuff if given a chance to start or even be a power arm out of the pen as a closer. Any pitcher who can strikeout 20 in his last 9.2 innings of work will get my attention. Even if it takes him pitching three outings in a row to do it!
We have watched Morales develop since “day one” in the Phillies system. Can’t wait until we can watch him pitch here in Clearwater for the Threshers. Let’s hope it is sooner than later!