Prospects Check In: Which Pitchers Could Crack the Phillies’ Roster?

Spencer Howard
Reading Fightin Phils starting pitcher Spencer Howard (12) during an Eastern League game against the Trenton Thunder on August 16, 2019 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, Pennsylvania. Trenton defeated Reading 7-5. (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images via AP)

It’s no secret that the Phillies have some holes on their roster. With their depleted bullpen, outfield depth, and uncertainty among their infield and rotation, they have some decisions to make.

By hiring Dave Dombrowski to be their new president of baseball operations, history shows that prospects are likely not safe at all. However, if Dombrowski decides to go against his notoriety and hold onto the Phillies’ top prospects, there are a handful of names that could make an impact at one point during the 2021 season. In the next installment of this prospect series, we’ll take a look at pitchers who could make the roster this season.

Phillies’ Starter Spencer Howard

Okay, this one is really obvious. Spencer Howard cracked the Phillies’ rotation during the 2020 shortened season. However, since they waited five games before adding him to the roster, this kept his prospect status intact. With this, they also kept an extra year eligible on their contracts before any form of arbitration.

In six starts during the 2020 campaign, Howard had some ups and downs. He posted a 1-2 record with a 5.92 ERA. When looking at some deeper analytics, the right-hander allowed 2.2 homers per nine innings, but also striking out nearly nine batters per nine. However, at limited points, he showed dominating command and speed on his fastball. Nevertheless, Howard left much more to be desired after his six starts.

Howard is almost a lock to be in the Phillies’ rotation come opening day. The Phillies are obviously trying to save money due to the pandemic, and with Jake Areieta leaving they’ll need to look in house for a replacement. Spencer Howard, the #8 ranked RHP among all MLB prospects, will definitely be one of those prospects they give a look to start the season.

Adonis Medina

Adonis Medina was not supposed to make any appearances in 2020. Throw together some major pitching deficiencies and injuries, and we found him starting a game in late September. In that appearance, Medina went a decent four innings, allowing two earned runs and showed fans some MLB caliber stuff.

There will likely be a battle of the fifth starting spot on opening day. The Phillies will likely look at a trade or free agency for this opening, and hopefully make Spencer Howard the five. Medina has been a prospect forever and may be running out of time, but he could also find a look at the bullpen if no drastic changes are made this offseason.

Mauricio Llovera

Okay, this one is a bit of a wildcard. Llovera was a random depth signing back during the 2014-2015 international signing period. However, he worked his way up to being one of the most productive pitchers in the organization. His hard work was rewarded as he was added to the forty man roster last season. He suffered an injury, but is expected to come back this season.

According to

“Llovera can get back to confounding hitters with a three-pitch mix. His fastball averages 94 mph and touches 96-97 on occasion. His changeup might be his best pitch, an offspeed offering that gets soft contact and a 26 percent swing-and-miss rate. For his slider, has the chance to be an excellent pitch as well, though he still needs to tighten it up more, and he’ll fold in a curveball on occasion, too.”

Llovera is a guy who will consistently throw strikes. He saw some struggles when he was promoted to a starter in double-A. But, he is a primed mid-game reliever for a team. As long as he can stay healthy in 2020, he could crack the Phillies’ bullpen assuming they struggle again.

Phillies’ Other Notables:

  • JoJo Romero
  • Enyel De Los Santos
  • Damon Jones
  • Mike Janes/Four Seam Images via AP