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.
When multiple opportunities are available, individuals either conquer the challenge or realize the limits of their ability.
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.
- 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.
IN OTHER WORDS:
“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.