Phillies top pitching prospect is behind in his training
Jake Thompson is entering spring training as the odd-man out of the Phillies starting rotation after the acquisition of Clay Buchholz over the winter. Despite being the organization’s top pitching prospect, Thompson struggled in his first 10 major league starts last year.
Projected to head the powerful Lehigh Valley rotation, Thompson comes to spring training a week behind his teammates. The 23-year-old is battling a sore right wrist and will work off of flat ground to start camp.
Acquired in the blockbuster Cole Hamels trade with the Rangers, Thompson finished his rookie campaign in Philadelphia on a rough note. In 7 of his 10 starts the righty never managed to work through the sixth inning.
Last season Thompson finished with a 3-6 record and a 5.70 ERA in Philadelphia.
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With team president Andy MacPhail placing an emphasis on adding young depth to the starting rotation, Thompson must establish himself as a piece of the puzzle in Philadelphia sooner than later.
Philadelphia projects to have Jeremy Hellickson, Clay Buchholz, Jerad Eickhoff, Vincent Velasquez, and a healthy Aaron Nola head the major league rotation when the season begins next month. Thanks to the depth already acquired through trades and player development the organization will have Thompson, Zach Eflin, Mark Appel, Ben Lively, Nick Pivetta, Alec Asher, and Adam Morgan available for Lehigh Valley.
Asher and Morgan could compete for a job in the major league bullpen as long-relief specialists.