It’s the shortest MLB season ever. Only 60 games starting in two weeks. No time to dawdle. I’ll get right to the points I want to make. Here’s mine so far based on the first week of “summer training”.
Trevor Kelley might be for real coming out of the pen. He struck out the first two batters he faced in yesterday’s intrasquad game. In spring training, he pitched in six games allowing no runs, two hits, walking 2 and striking out 9 over 6.1 innings. Below is a video of Kelley pitching in live batting practice in spring training.
On the other hand, lefties Cole Irvin and J.J. Romero were hit hard in the intrasquad game and do not look like the lefties of the future. Irvin was on the mound for a two-run homer by J.T. Realmuto and Romero topped that by giving up a grand slam to Didi Gregorius.
The young guys in the 60-man summer camp I will be keeping tabs on are starting pitchers Spencer Howard, Connor Seabold and Mauricio Llovera and catcher Logan O’Hoppe.
Howard was the best pitcher the Phillies had in the minors last season. He dominated in three different leagues with Clearwater in the Florida State League, Reading in the Eastern League and Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League.
Seabold was an ace in the Arizona Fall League in four starts last year but was shutdown in the last two weeks of the AFL six-week season.
Llovera pitched well until he was shutdown for Reading over the last six weeks of the Eastern League season in 2019. He was our Clearwater Threshers Pitcher of the Year in 2018. Llovera was outstanding including pitching the first six innings of no-hit ball in the FSL playoffs that year.
What can we say about Logan O’Hoppe? He just might be the best 20 year-old catcher in baseball. I was surprised he was added to the 60-man pool knowing the Phillies reluctance to give such a young player an outside opportunity to play at the major league level. He was selected by the players as the best catcher in the 2019-20 offseason Australian Baseball League.
According to senior Phillies beat writer Jim Salisbury, the summer camp continues today with more intrasquad action with Zack Wheeler and Vince Velasquez scheduled to get some work on the mound.