Resetting the Minor League Rotations

The Phillies just did another round of minor league rotation reshuffling with some injuries and more draft players showing up. This has left a bunch of rotations in flux. This activity is as much for me as it is for all of you, so bear with me while I work through all of this for my own good.

Lehigh Valley:

Jake Thompson, David Buchanan, Adam Morgan, Ben Lively, James Russell, Anthony Vasquez
DL: Mark Appel

Adam Morgan’s demotion brings the IronPigs to 6 starters. Thompson, Buchanan, and Lively aren’t going anywhere so that leaves Russell and Vasquez as the odd pitchers out. Russel has gone from good to bad in the rotation and has no future in the org as a starter. Vasquez on the other hand has no future, but can go 7-8 innings and save the bullpen every 5 days.

Reading:

Nick Pivetta, Ricardo Pinto (Futures Game), Tyler Viza, Thomas Eshelman, John Richy, Mark Leiter

Pinto is in San Diego for the Futures game which opens up a spot for John Richy to make a trip north again. Viza and Eshelman are in Reading to stay even if it is a mixed bag for them so far in the upper minors. Pivetta is back from the DL, and if he can pick up where he left off he may push for a AAA look later this year. With Pinto back, Reading could demote Richy or send either him or Leiter to the bullpen

Clearwater:

Drew Anderson, Shane Watson, Ranfi Casimiro, Elniery Garcia, Luke Leftwich, Yacksel Rios

The Phillies promoted Drew Anderson from Lakewood to Clearwater this week, the righty is working his way back to full strength from Tommy John surgery but is worth watching as back end starting pitcher with decent stuff. Watson and Leftwich are fastball-breaking ball righties with low 90s fastballs. Leftwich has better control and a bit of deception and Watson has a better breaking ball and maybe a touch more velocity as he gets further from shoulder surgery. Casimiro has cooled off as his lack of a bat missing pitch has caught up with him. Elniery Garcia has been very good this year and should be in Reading by the end of the year. Rios is a reliever trying to find himself as a starting pitcher.

Lakewood:

Jose Taveras, Tyler Gilbert, Franklyn Kilome, Alberto Tirado, Edgar Garcia, Seranthony Dominguez (not on roster, but not physically in Williamsport either)
DL: Harold Arauz

Jose Taveras has the stuff to be a back end starter, and his ERA is deceptive of how dominant he has been at times, but it is not overpowering stuff and he can be hittable. Franklyn Kilome has been solid since his break, his walks are still high, but he is missing bats and getting weak contact which is good. Gilbert has struggled compared to his stock into the year, but he is coming on of late. Tirado is not a starting pitcher because he still has not learned to throw strikes, but he is 21 and the stuff is nasty, so he needs the innings. Edgar Garcia has the fastball  (91-95) and slider to start but his changeup and size (6’0″) give more hesitancy on whether he can start. He has been dominant for Lakewood so it is worth a shot to see if he can work through all of this given his age (19) and make a decent starting pitching prospect. Seranthony had a disastrous first start for Lakewood before being demoted, he is however not with the Williamsport club, so he could still be with Lakewood. His stuff is good enough to be a mid rotation or better starter with a low to mid 90s fastball and potential for two plus secondary pitches.

Williamsport:

Adonis Medina, Felix Paulino, Bailey Falter, Ranger Suarez, Julian Garcia, JoJo Romero/Cole Irvin, Seranthony Dominguez (on roster, has not actually been seen in Williamsport)

Medina is one of the most exciting starters in the system, his fastball can get up to 97 and he has good secondary pitches along with an advanced feel for his age. Paulino has been up and down so far. Falter is still growing into his velocity, and is a work in progress for now. Suarez is a command and control lefty he could grow into Elniery Garcia. Julian Garcia has been underwhelming in his pro debut so far. Romero and Irvin are piggy backing while they work up their arm strength, but both are interesting lefties long term, but they may not get fully unleashed this season as the Phillies limit their workload.

GCL:

Kevin Gowdy, Will Stewart, Nick Fanti, Sixto Sanchez, Mauricio Llovera, Luis Carrasco

Kevin Gowdy made his debut today with Stewart backing him up for 5 innings, they may end up eventually splitting the two as Gowdy regains stamina, Gowdy is a Top 10 prospect in the system for me and Stewart is just a young projection guy. The numbers are good for Fanti, the reports are not good, he is a lefty who throws strikes and that is good enough for the lower levels. Sixto Sanchez has shown positive stuff so far in the GCL, the 17 year old righty is up to 95 with interesting secondary stuff. Llovera has put up good numbers but I don’t have information on his or Luis Carrasco’s stuff.

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.

1 comment

  1. Kurdt Kobeyn

    @Matt – you said that Gowdy is a Top 10 prospect for you. Do you have him higher than Medina? I think there are close to one another but I think Medina is the better prospect for now due to his proven (although it’s only 100 IP) success in DSL, GCL and WIL.