Andrew Painter flashes impressive stuff in spring debut
The phrase “highly anticipated Spring Training game” is not a common one. Spring games are rarely must-see TV. Today was the white whale of Spring Training games for Phillies fans.
Today featured the debut of top pitching prospect Andrew Painter. He faced off against several of the MInnesota Twins starters, plus a handful of major league veterans. For the most part, he impressed.
Inside Andrew Painter’s Spring debut
Joey Gallo became Painter’s first victim, popping-up to Muzziotti after Marsh had a hard time seeing it. He hit 98 MPH in the at bat.
All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa (no he’s not with the Mets) came up next. Painter threw 3 straight cutters to get a 1-2 count on Correa. The cutter is a brand new pitch for Painter but it looked like something he’s had in his pocket for a year or more. He just missed his first K on the next pitch. Correa would ultimately work out an infield hit. Painter hit 99 MPH, the highest of his appearance on Tuesday.
Max Kepler got ahead of Painter 2-0 in his at bat. Painter worked all the way back to get his first strikeout. Kepler couldn’t hold up.
Catcher Ryan Jeffers took a first-pitch strike and would fly out to end the inning. Painter threw 17 pitches in his 1st inning.
Painter’s velocity was slightly down in the 2nd inning. He was consistently around 96-97, only hitting 98 once. He allowed 2 quick base hits to start the inning.
With runners on 1st and 3rd, Painter got Kyle Farmer to fly out on a cutter. The run scored but Simon Muzziotti nailed Nick Gordon at 2nd, trying to tag up.
After the bases were cleared, Painter hit 98 MPH again, facing Michael A. Taylor. Painter got Taylor to ground out to Edmundo Sosa to end the inning. Despite running into trouble, Painter threw just 12 pitches in the inning. He threw 29 total pitches on the day.
Whether or not the Phillies won wasn’t what was important. The main point was the Andrew Painter looked ready to face major league hitters.
His slider and cutter could use work but for an offspeed pitch and a newly-learned pitch they were good for the first appearance of Spring Training.
His performance might’ve given him the inside track over Bailey Falter to make the roster. Both players could conceivably make the team in a possible 6-man rotation. Falter has yet to make his spring debut.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire