Phillies investigating Spencer Howard’s sudden velocity drop
By Matthew C
While making his fourth start in the big leagues, Spencer Howard experienced a drop in his velocity after the fourth inning of his start.
Spencer Howard, the top Phillies pitching prospect the team promoted in August, experienced a dip in his velocity while making his start Monday against the Washington Nationals. Pitching five innings in which he allowed two earned runs on five hits, Howard had a 95MPH velocity in the first inning.
In the fourth and fifth inning, which would turn out to be his final inning of the start, his velocity went down from 95 mph to 92mph, per Statcast. Immediately following the game, Phillies manager Joe Girardi declined to comment or provide a reason for the velocity drop.
However, the following morning, Girardi made his first comments on the troublesome velocity drop.
It was made clear that the drop wasn’t due to injury and that Howard
According to Statcast, Howard has similar velocity and pitch movement to Chicago White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito and Cincinnati Reds’ pitcher Trevor Bauer. Howard has relied on four pitches in the big leagues. He throws a four-seamer 58.1% of the time, slider 19.8% of the time, a change up 16.9% of the time, and his curveball 5.2% of the time.
Out of 47 fastballs thrown in the game Monday against the Nationals, his minimum speed for his fastball was 90.4mph – the lowest in his professional career.
Howard is expected to make his next start next week against the Boston Red Sox.
Through his first four starts he is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA with 15 strikeouts and seven walks in 16.2 innings.