Phillies Pitcher Jake Thompson to Make Spring Debut Later This Week

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Sep 9, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jake Thompson (44) pitches during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 9, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jake Thompson (44) pitches during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure told reporters that Jake Thompson will make his spring training debut on Thursday or Friday.

It didn’t take long for the injury bug to strike Phillies spring training this year as Jake Thompson started off camp with a sore right wrist. It forced him to start the spring throwing from flat ground rather than off the mound, putting him behind all the other pitchers in camp with the team.

Thompson has slowly been working back from the injury, and he threw against live hitting last week. Now it appears Thompson is ready to make the final step in return from injury.

Pitching coach Bob McClure said Tuesday that Thompson will make his spring training debut Thursday or Friday. He also said that Zach Eflin is set to pitch in a minor-league game before he makes his debut in the Grapefruit League.

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It should be noted Friday’s game is in Clearwater at Spectrum Field, while Thursday’s is nearly an hour and fifteen minutes away at Baltimore’s spring facility. Considering this is Thompson’s first start, it seems more likely he would make his debut at Philadelphia’s own field rather than someone else’s.

Once he does get back into Grapefruit League games, expect to see Thompson continue to work on streamlining his delivery.

Last season, after struggling to throw for strikes in his first several MLB starts, Thompson minimized the amount of motion he had in his windup. It worked for him, as he cut down on his walks to a degree and had a 3.41 ERA in his last six starts.

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McClure told Mike Sielski of Philly.com, “I like motion in a delivery, but if you can’t throw quality strikes doing it, where do you go? I don’t care if you shoot the ball out of your ass. If you throw quality strikes, I don’t care how you do it.”

Thompson may not spend too long in the major-league camp once he does make his debut. The team has already sent down several other minor-leaguers in the past few days. Thompson is also expected to be in the minors once the regular season starts, so he will be relegated to the minor-league camp before too long.

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Considering how long its been since the injury, Thompson shouldn’t have any issues once he gets on the mound. However, if there are any, it would put him even further behind the rest of Philadelphia’s pitchers.

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