Philadelphia Phillies: Rebuilding the Rotation

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Is Nola Reaching Back for Something Extra? Photo by Bill Streicher – USA TODAY Sports.

Beyond the obvious questions, the Opening Day assignment is between three hurlers, and management for the Philadelphia Phillies will decide if it’s Jerad Eickhoff , Vince Velasquez or Aaron Nola.



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While the Philadelphia Phillies are currently pruning their 40-man roster in anticipation of the Rule 5 Draft, playoff-competing franchises live and die with every pitch. Locally, the rotation has three locks: Eickhoff, Velasquez and Nola. And if nothing changes, two spots are available for in-house candidates. For instance, six possible hurlers are at the top two organizational levels. However, the front office could acquire a veteran to head the five-man staff and fill one slot even if Jeremy Hellickson has a new employer.

From another site, a familiar poster inquired about next year’s rotation due to a wealth of young pitching. Well, Double D, after right-hander Mark Appel had an impressive April, he struggled through four May outings before landing on the disabled list: The final straw was his two-out performance on May 22. Injuries colored his numbers. He had a strained shoulder and bone chips in his elbow. In other words, he must prove he’s healthy and will probably spend next season with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Appel’s stats:

  • April: 3-0 in 4 outings with a 1.64 ERA for 22 innings.
  • May: 0-3 in 4 starts with an 8.27 ERA for 16 1/3 frames.

Knocking on the front-office door, righty Ben Lively dominated the Eastern League for the Double-A Reading Fightin Phils to earn a promotion to Lehigh Valley. This noteworthiness continued for his first five appearances in the International League, but then he had five consecutive debacles before a strong eight-game finish and a 1.98 ERA. That stated, he’s near the back of a long line.


“Pitching in the big leagues is a dream. Preparing to pitch in the big leagues is a nightmare!” –Nolan Ryan

Lively’s Triple-A stats:

  • 3-0 in his first five appearances with a 2.45 ERA for 40 1/3 innings.
  • 1-4 in his next five outings with a 5.93 ERA for 27 1/3 frames.
  • 7-1 in his final eight starts with a 1.98 ERA for 50 innings.

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