Matt Klentak insists Clay Buchholz will be in the starting rotation, but could he be detrimental to the future?
Philadelphia’s trade with Boston for pitcher Clay Buchholz means multiple things for the Phillies in 2017. First, the Phillies have another veteran trade piece for the upcoming summer.
Second, the Phillies starting rotation is now overflowing with arms with less than two months until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training.
As Matt Gelb notes, the Phillies now have a logjam of pitchers between Triple-A Lehigh Valley and the major leagues. Between veterans Buchholz and Jeremy Hellickson, and the youth acquired through recent trades, the competition come February will be fierce.
There are even names not listed in the above tweet who could compete for a job in spring training, such as Adam Morgan.
Most likely, the Phillies will have Jake Thompson, Ben Lively, Nick Pivetta, and either Morgan or Alec Asher start the season in Lehigh Valley.
At the same time, the health of Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin is not immediately known. Nola is rehabbing an elbow injury, while Eflin had surgery on both his knees.
Vincent Velasquez has grown into an injury threat, and missed multiple starts with an arm injury.
That leaves Hellickson, Buchholz and Jared Eickhoff the only “reliable” arms going into the season. Hopefully Velasquez and Nola are ready to go, but if not, they certainly have the depth to make-due with what they have.
Luckily, what they have is a logjam of young arms.