Phillies: Five pitchers to keep an eye on in spring training
Austin Davis was drafted by the Phillies in 2014 in the 12th round out of Cal State Bakersfield. He made it to the majors for the first time last year and stuck around for the rest of the season. Davis appeared in 32 games and had an ERA of 4.15 in 34.2 innings pitched. He walked 12 batters and stuck out 38 out of the 151 batters he faced.
Davis was a serviceable left-hander to come out of the bullpen. Did anyone really believe he was going to be the lockdown situational lefty? Probably not. Did the Phillies really have to go out and get Aaron Loup from the Blue Jays to cover up for him? Not at all. I thought he did a fine job with the opportunity he was provided.
With the acquisitions of Jose Alvarez and James Pazos, Davis falls two spots on the organizational depth chart in the bullpen. It is now extremely crowded with the possibility of a trade from this position of strength increasingly likely. Ultimately, unless there is an injury, I don’t see him making the opening day roster.
That’s not to say that Davis does not have a chance at all. It will be interesting to see how he competes with these guys. Pazos and (especially) Alvarez are just better, though. I think he starts the season in Lehigh Valley, but I certainly hope that the Phillies brass gives Davis a solid look. His position on the 40-man roster will help his chances of returning to the majors during the year.