Phillies: Potential bullpen options from the 40-man roster
By Bryce Turner
Phillies minor league starters who could debut out of the bullpen
The Phillies have a few minor league starters on their 40-man roster, who have yet to make their major league debut. With a struggling bullpen, the Phillies could give these pitchers a chance as relievers for now.
Left-handed pitcher JoJo Romero spent last season between AA Reading and AAA Lehigh Valley. In 11 starts with Reading, he recorded a 4-4 record, 4.84 ERA and 1.214 WHIP. At Lehigh Valley, he made 13 starts, posting a 3-5 record, 6.88 ERA and 1.919 WHIP.
While those numbers aren’t great, he had a more impressive 7-6 record and 3.80 ERA in 18 starts with Reading in 2018 and could surprise in shorter lengths out of the bullpen.
Right-handed pitcher Adonis Medina spent last season at AA Reading, posting a 7-7 record, 4.94 ERA and 1.363 WHIP in 22 games, including 21 starts. He appeared in two games during spring training, giving up only a walk in 1.2 innings of no-hit baseball.
Despite the limited sample size and no previous AAA or major league experience, we’ve already seen the Phillies turn to Spencer Howard, who had no prior experience beyond AA. If they’re willing to take the chance on one of their top prospects, perhaps a team desperate for relievers can give Medina a chance.
And right-handed pitcher Mauricio Llovera also spent last season at AA Reading, posting a 3-4 record, 4.55 ERA and 1.347 WHIP in 14 games, including 12 starts. He did well in spring training, surrendering three hits, three walks and only one earned run in six innings pitched.
While his highest level of regular season experience was in AA, he would still be worth a chance. Given the nature of a shortened MLB season and no minor league baseball this year, now would be the time to do things differently and take a chance on some younger pitchers, at least for an inning or two.
If the Phillies bullpen continues to struggle, there are a few pitchers on their 40-man roster who could be worth the gamble.