Phillies tab RHP Adonis Medina for MLB debut vs. Blue Jays

The Phillies will turn to their No. 6-ranked prospect Adonis Medina in Sunday’s series finale against the Blue Jays

The Philadelphia Phillies have just eight games remaining in the 60-game season. And, following manager Joe Girardi‘s squad’s 3-1 Saturday evening victory over the Toronto Blue Jays — their third straight win — the skipper announced who will start in Sunday’s finale with a series sweep on the line.

With Jake Arrieta and Spencer Howard sidelined due to injury, Girardi announced that the Phillies will turn to their No. 6-ranked prospect Adonis Medina for his MLB debut. Medina will become the 10th different Phillie to debut, albeit the shortened season amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Medina, 23, has long been considered one of the Phillies’ best pitching prospects. In fact, he was once neck-and-neck with Sixto Sanchez prior to the trade with the Miami Marlins that brought perennial All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto to Philadelphia.

The Dominican Republic native has pitched in the Phillies system since he was a teenager back in 2014 as part of the Dominican Summer League. While Medina has never pitched above the Double-A level, the Phillies seem to not mind the lack of experience in their prospects this season — considering they promoted 21-year-old Rafael Marchan who had yet to even appear with the Reading Fightin Phils’.

In 22 games and 21 starts last season at Double-A, Medina went 7-7 with a 4.94 ERA, 1.363 WHIP, and 82-41 strikeout-to-walk ratio spanning 105 2/3 innings.

“In some people’s eyes, Medina has plateaued a bit, though he’s still developing as a pitcher and has three at least average offerings at his disposal,” MLB Pipeline writes. “His fastball still hits 96 mph consistently and it has a ton of sink, leading to a lot of ground-ball outs. His changeup is his best pitch currently and it’s often a plus pitch sold with excellent arm speed. While his slider is his third pitch, it can be a very effective breaking ball that elicits weak contact on the ground.”

Medina was not part of the Phillies’ initially announced 60-man player pool, but joined on July 29, along with No. 3-ranked prospect Bryson Stott and INF/OF Austin Listi. Fellow rookie Mickey Moniak was also excluded, but had not been added to the pool until more than a whole month later than Medina — August 30. Moniak picked up his first career hit against the Blue Jays in Friday’s doubleheader.

It seems as though the Phils are trying all avenues to try and qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2011. They need just four more wins for their first winning record since the same season; granted, their hands are tied amid a depleted starting rotation staff due to injuries. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how Medina fares in his first big-league start.