Biddle Bounces Back
By David Mullen
Jesse Biddle wants to put the injury-ravaged 2014 season behind him, and rightfully so. The former first round pick spent most of the season in Double-A Reading, mixing in a start with the Phillies rookie-level team and a pair of starts with Hi-A Clearwater.
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Biddle suffered a concussion last May when an unbelievable hail storm hit Reading while he was driving his car. After the concussion, Biddle was never the same top prospect that we were all used to seeing. He was ultimately shut down, with GM Ruben Amaro stating at the time that the organization believed he needed a break.
He finished the 2014 season with a 5-10 record, 4.60 ERA, and a 1.42 WHIP. His K/9 dropped from 10.0 in 2013 to 8.8 in 2014, and his HR/9 climbed from 0.7 to 1.1. The concussion had an obvious effect on Biddle, but he still has the talent that the Phillies saw in him during the 2010 draft.
At the beginning of Spring Training, manager Ryne Sandberg liked what he saw from Biddle, stating: “Jesse Biddle is really doing a good job. Every time he pitches and does sides, he has really good command. He’s showing his pitches and seems to be really in control.“
“…it’s just my first time out. I’m putting a lot more weight into how I felt, and I thought the ball was coming out good.” ~ Biddle
Biddle made his first appearance of the spring last Saturday out of the bullpen. He struggled in one inning of work, giving up two runs on three hits, walking one and striking out one. However, there is nothing to be concerned about at this point.
This was Biddle’s first game action of the 2015 season, and he was especially excited to get back on the mound after that disastrous 2014. Biddle agreed, saying after the game: “It’s a little frustrating to give up runs. You never want to do that. But it’s just my first time out. I’m not putting too much weight into it. I’m putting a lot more weight into how I felt, and I thought the ball was coming out good.”
The 23-year old is likely slated to start the season at Double-A Reading as part of their prospect-laden rotation. Barring any setbacks, he could end up finishing the season making his big league debut later in the summer. At this point, it’s all about staying healthy and focused for the Philly native.