Let’s get right to it! Phillies two top minor league starting pitching prospects, Connor Seabold and Spencer Howard, are slated to start tonight and tomorrow night in the Arizona Fall League. The Phillies need starting pitching badly for next season and Seabold and Howard have to be candidates at some point.
They will likely throw 2-3 innings and 40-50 pitches based on what the Scottsdale Scorpion pitchers threw last night in the first game of the AFL season. Phillies minor league pitching coach Brad Bergesen is the Scorpions pitching coach.
We watched both Seabold and Howard pitch parts of last season for the Clearwater Threshers where Bergesen was the pitching coach. Both finished up in the Reading rotation. Seabold was 1-0 in two games, one start, for Clearwater allowing only one run in nine innings. He would go on to Reading and went 3-1 in seven starts with a 2.25 ERA striking out 36 in 40 innings. Howard went 2-1 with Clearwater with a 1.29 ERA striking out 38 in 30 innings and with Reading went 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA striking out 38 in 30.2 innings.
The innings that both Seabold and Howard pitch in the AFL will go a long way in telling the Phillies Front Office if they are ready for the Show in 2020. Howard has proved to be a great post season pitcher. Howard was brilliant in the Eastern League playoffs last week, pitching a two-hitter, striking out 12 on 99 pitches over seven innings. His fastball was ranging from 94-98 in the game. He pitched a no-hittter last season in the playoffs for Lakewood. He is a “big game” pitcher!
Clearly, the Phillies need a big game, No. 1 starting pitcher. Aaron Nola is proving he can not handle the pressure and is not a big game pitcher as he keeps coming up short down the stretch in September. The Phillies have lost in his last five starts and he left in today’s game trailing 5-3.
Watch below a game in which Seabold and Howard each pitched this season with Clearwater: