Ahead of a possible postseason run, the Phillies notably promoted Griff McGarry.
The right-hander was just recently moved to a bullpen role at Double-A Reading — a move many perceived as foreshadowing a potential call-up to the majors. In his first relief appearance at the level, McGarry went two innings and struck out four opposing batters.
The Phillies have needed some pitching depth as of late. With Seranthony Dominguez hitting the injured list recently, Zack Wheeler dealing with forearm pain, and Zach Eflin being on the shelf since June, the Phillies have been thin at pitching depth. It also has not helped that Ranger Suarez is well over his career high in innings pitched and has struggled to make it out of the fifth inning in his past three starts.
Promoting McGarry to Triple-A would indicate that a move to the major league club could be coming soon. McGarry could be a versatile piece to the team: he can throw multiple innings in relief and has shown that he can be successful at multiple levels so far in the minors.
McGarry finished his time with Reading with a 2.20 ERA over 32 2/3 innings and 39 strikeouts — good for an impressive 10.74 K/9 rate. McGarry’s one flaw was his walk rate — which sat at 5.51 BB/9. The Phillies hope that his command will continue to improve and bring that rate down.
The Phillies have not officially laid out their plan for McGarry, who is ranked as their fourth-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. They could decide to give other relievers — such as Sam Coonrod and Connor Brogdon — the chance to step up before calling up McGarry. However, with Suarez struggling to go deep into games, the Phillies could use a pitcher like McGarry to take over a long-relief role to limit the southpaw’s innings and give a break to some other relievers.
The Phillies will begin a crucial six-game homestand on Tuesday — with three games against the Miami Marlins, followed by another three against the National League East-worst Washington Nationals. The team must take advantage of playing bad teams after a disappointing road trip in Arizona and San Francisco.
McGarry remains an interesting prospect to watch, as he could be the first of a slew of talented pitching prospects in the Phillies farm system to reach the big leagues. If the Phillies decide to promote him to the majors before the end of the season to help the beleaguered pitching staff, it will no doubt create some excitement to see a promising prospect contribute to meaningful games in a postseason hunt.