One of the Phillies top pitching prospects was pulled early from his start in AAA Lehigh Valley after only managing two outs in the first inning.
Mark Appel, who was acquired in the Ken Giles trade this past offseason, allowed four runs on four hits and allowed two walks in less than one inning against the Toledo Mud Hens in the first half of a double header.
Severino Gonzalez, who pitched for the Phillies multiple times in the majors last season, was called in to replace Appel. As of the third inning, Gonzalez already recorded four strikeouts.
The 24 year old right hander had a 3-2 record and a 3.58 ERA through seven starts entering Sundays game. He’d allowed 36 hits, 15 runs, and 18 walks through 37.2 innings. He had 34 strikeouts on the season.
Mark Appel was the first overall pick in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft by the Houston Astros out of Stanford. He was expected to be a quick riser in the Astros organization, but struggled with injuries and command.
When the Phillies sent closer Ken Giles to Houston, Appel was not originally part of the package of prospects being sent to Philadelphia. After physicals of the prospects, the Phillies were concerned about one of the players. Appel was added to the deal along with Vince Velasquez, Brett Oberholtzer, Thomas Eshelman, and Harold Arauz.
He is currently ranked as the Phillies number four prospect and is rated the 66th best prospect in baseball.
After getting some looks in Major League Spring Training, Mark Appel was selected for AAA Lehigh Valley where he could hone in on his command and hopefully break into the big leagues in late 2016 or on the Phillies 2017 Opening Day roster.
Should Appel need to be rested or placed on the disabled list for any reason, Ben Lively in AA Reading has performed well above expectations with a 6-0 record and a 1.53 ERA.