Phillies’ pitching wish list

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 27: Starting pitcher Aaron Nola
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 27: Starting pitcher Aaron Nola /
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Yes, Getting Otani Is a Long Shot. Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images.
Yes, Getting Otani Is a Long Shot. Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images. /

During the winter, righty Shohei Otani from Japan will draw interest from every big league franchise because of his statistics. Yes, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters will only receive a transfer fee of $20 million, and some MLB organizations–not the Phils–will have an international-bonus-money limitation of $300,000 to offer for one season. Basically, if dollars were the issue, the ace would wait two years for a free-agent bidding frenzy, but his financial decisions are secondary.

Medically, the Japanese phenom had the ankle surgery for the injury that had affected his results and playing time in ’17.

Otani, 23:

  • 2015: 22 Gms., 15-5 with a 2.24 ERA for 160 2/3 Inn.
  • 2016: 21 Gms., 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA for 140 Inn.
  • 2017: 5 Gms., 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA for 25 1/3 Inn.

When writers speculate about the DH role with an American League club, they’re commenting about Otani’s desire to hit in addition to pitching, and AL teams will take that approach. But they will rule out any desire to play defense, although he is also an outfielder. Remember, Cliff Lee wanted to field and steal bases besides batting, and Roy Oswalt loved his short appearance in left field.

Otani, 23:

  • 2016: 104 Gms., 382 PA, .322, 22 HR and 67 RBI.
  • 2017: 65 Gms., 231 PA, .322, 8 HR and 31 RBI.

Next: Phillies: The Odds Are 58 Percent

National League contenders probably will only have interest in his pitching and pinch hitting due to injury risk and workload. However, some rebuilding clubs might consider him as a starter and a regular.

Because they need another outfielder, the Philadelphia Phillies could have the best NL shot for the two-way star. Translation: Outfielders Roman Quinn with his fragility and Dylan Cozens with his average will be with the IronPigs in April. The red pinstripes with their hit-or-sit motivation will eventually have all 13 position players receiving substantial at-bats, and they can offer something in addition to a rotation slot, which is? A semi-regular spot!