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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The Clearwater Threshers stormed the field after the 11th inning walkoff run was scored. /

High-A Clearwater

This is where things get interesting because at this level there are several players who will likely return from 2016, but there are also several players from Lakewood who deserve a promotion as well.

If Drew Anderson doesn’t make the cut for Reading – which he doesn’t in this scenario – he would be an obvious candidate to return to the Threshers rotation. Franklyn Kilome dominated Low-A in 2016 and it would be a waste to send him back there in 2017.

More from That Balls Outta Here

Jose Taveras and Seranthony Dominguez also both had strong seasons in High-A. Neither has the prospect power of Kilome, but each showed they could handle what the South Atlantic League can throw at them. One or both may be promoted to Clearwater, but this would require moving some other pitchers to the bullpen, either in High-A or Double-A.

Alberto Tirado, who was added to the 40-man roster this winter as well, has all of the pieces to be a starting pitcher but his lack of control will likely prevent him from ever becoming one. The team remains adamant about keeping him in the rotation, but he has been inconsistent there.

If they do keep Tirado as a starter, they will likely slot him into Clearwater’s rotation after spending 2016 in Lakewood’s.

The leftover spots would be battled for between Luke Leftwich, Brandon Leibrandt, and Shane Watson.

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