Eastern League Championship Series Preview: Reading vs Bowie

The Fightin Phils dispatched the Binghamton Mets with ease in the first round of the Eastern League playoffs, setting them up for a 5 game series with the Bowie Baysox (Orioles) for the championship.

Starting Pitching:

Game 1 (@Reading): Zach Eflin
Game 2 (@Reading): Ethan Martin
Game 3 (@Bowie): Jake Thompson
Game 4 (@Bowie): Ben Lively
Game 5 (@Bowie): TBD

Reading inserts Ethan Martin back into the rotation where he has been good of late with a slight uptick in velocity (90-92 T94).  The move also gives an extra day of rest to Jake Thompson (who was only going to pitch in one game anyway) after his long shutout last series.  Around those two, Zach Eflin was good in his start after he settled in and Ben Lively gives the Fightins a chance to compete when he is on the mound.

Hitting:

Reading appears to be going with the same positional group as the last series, which leaves them with an incredibly dangerous lineup.  They pick up the DH this series which means someone like Art Charles or Brain Pointer augments the lineup.  Bowie will likely have a lefty on the mound in Games 1 and 2, which does hurt Reading some with Crawford, Williams, Knapp, Stassi, and Cozens all stronger vs RHPs.  This will put a lot of pressure on Cameron Perkins who looks to be rounding back into shape after a rough end of the year (around injuries).

Relief Pitching:

Shackleford is still an adventure at closer but the rest of the bullpen is extremely solid for the Phils.  Cordero was shaky last night out but showed nasty stuff and Ramos, Windle, Roibal, and O’Sullivan can keep games close.  In general Reading is going to really run their starters as long as they can go because it is the end of the season so the bullpen shouldn’t be that taxed in the series.

Overall:

This is an extremely tough series for Bowie because Reading is red hot right now.  For Reading, it is really simple, if they play the way they have the Eastern League title is theirs.

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman
Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.

9 comments

  1. hoff610

    Thompson in Game 2 would have had me tempted to make the trip to Reading. Oh well.
    Is that Destin Hood still injured?

    • Matt Winkelman

      Yes he is (likely wouldn’t start anyway), he and Quinn are in Reading but not playing

  2. Kurdt Kobeyn

    I still feel bad that the Cutters and CW are out of the playoffs coz I know they can win it all. Reading Line up will be a good preview of the 2016-17 Phillies. With Quinn – CF(SW), JPC – SS (LH), Williams – LF (LH) as #1, #2,#3 Hitters. Franco – 3B (RH) will be the clean up. If both Alfaro (RH) and Knapp (SW) continue to rake and move up together, they can be #5 and #6 – as C and/or 1B. Hoping that Cozens (LH) as RF continue to develop to join Knapp and Jorge for the #5, #6, #7 hitters (or Altherr or some FA if Cozens is still not up or even Alfaro). 2B will be the #8 hitter with a possible option of Sweeney (SW), Valentin (SW) or possible Kingery (RH),Tobias (SW). Not even considering FA (local and international and trades), that looks to be a very good #1 to 8# with very good potential.

    • Kurdt Kobeyn

      and if Quinn appeared to be fragile, Doobie (and some point Tocci or even Altherr) can be the CF.

      • Matt Winkelman

        I know Quinn is all exciting with his speed but Odubel Herrera is proving to be a better baseball player

        • Kurdt Kobeyn

          @ Matt – no problem with Doobie as he is young and looks durable. The concern will be that’s 3 lefty’s at the top of the order so option might be Williams-JPC-Franco-Alfaro/Knapp/Cozens at the top and move Doobie somewhere in #6-#8. which is still a good problem to have.

  3. Kurdt Kobeyn

    And of course on the pitching side, RHP Thompson (potentially #2/#3) and RHP Eflin (#4) will join Nola (potentially #2/#3) with RHP Pivetta/RHP Eikhoff/LHP Morgan/RHP Pinto as possible #5. The obvious hole is the ace (#1) which can be addressed via FA or trade. If no trade or FA, we can probably see Nola-Thompson-Pinto-Eflin-Morgan (just to add left handed option) in 2016-17.

    RHP Cordero and RHP Ramos I think are locks to be part of the bullpen probably joine RHP Giles (Closer), Araujo (LHP) and Ogando (RHP). I’m hoping that one of the lefty’s – Biddle, Joely and Windle can make it as LOOGY or long relieve that can do spot starts at times.

    • phillysf

      dont forget the ace that could be had in this years draft, might not make your time schedule but could fill the role a year or two later, would make me think the phillies would not splurge on a big time FA ace pitcher if they were not going to be competitive anyway and they would just wait until there pitcher matures

  4. Kegel_C

    Thinking about making the trip down to Bowie Thursday night. It’s only an hour away for me! Was considering it anyway but seeing Thompson pushed back a day to Game 3 makes it even more enticing.