Phillies: Projecting Major-League and Minor-League Rotations for 2017

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Mar 12, 2016; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Vince Velasquez (28) throws a warm up pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 12, 2016; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Vince Velasquez (28) throws a warm up pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Aug 29, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jake Thompson (44) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Triple-A Lehigh Valley

Since the major-league rotation doesn’t have any holes in it, Lehigh Valley’s will be filled with guys who have major-league experience but don’t have a spot on the major-league roster.

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Two players who were top pitching prospects this time last year who will likely be back in Triple-A are Zach Eflin and Jake Thompson. Each exceeded their rookie status in 2016, but neither had any consistent success. Both would benefit from more time in Triple-A.

The team also has two intriguing prospects poised to return to the Triple-A rotation after spending part of last year there in Ben Lively and Nick Pivetta.

Lively pitched his way to minor-league pitcher of the year honors after posting a 2.69 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A. Pivetta also had a respectable 3.27 ERA and 1.204 WHIP between Reading and Lehigh Valley. They are both on the 40-man roster but will likely start in Triple-A barring injury.

With their last spot in the Triple-A rotation, the Phillies may be forced to let someoe go as Alec Asher, Adam Morgan, and Mark Appel all have valid cases to be in that rotation. Appel is the most likely candidate as the lone prospect of the group, and the team has expressed that they will be patient with him. Morgan may find his way into the major-league bullpen as the team is thin on lefties there. Asher may also wind up in the bullpen, but he could be the odd one out if the team can’t find a spot for him.

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