RHP Spencer Howard and LHP Damon Jones showed last season they are the best starting pitching prospects the Phillies have. The team has not been good at developing major league starting pitching but that might change soon with them in the mix!
Howard impressed us in the one inning he pitched in a Grapefruit League game and striking out the final batter he faced. Jones was dominating in his two innings of spring games. In two appearances, he pitched three innings combined and did not give up a hit or run striking out five.
Last season Howard pitched at Clearwater (1.29 ERA), Reading (2.35 ERA) and in the Arizona Fall League( 2.11 ERA). Including an Eastern League playoff game (1.29 ERA), he pitched in 97 innings striking out 125 in those leagues. Jones pitched at Clearwater (1.29 ERA), Reading (0.82ERA) and Lehigh Valley (6.62 ERA). He pitched in 114.1 innings and struck out 152 but his 59 walks were a problem.
We were fortunate enough to watch each of them pitch an 11 strikeout game in Clearwater last season. They will likely be in the starting rotation to begin the season with AAA Lehigh Valley.
The Phillies will have starting pitching depth at AAA this season with Howard and Jones!