5 pitchers who will be in the Phillies' 2025 Opening Day starting rotation

Which five starters will begin 2025 in the rotation?
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suárez is a lock for the 2025 Opening Day rotation
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suárez is a lock for the 2025 Opening Day rotation / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 3

No. 5: Mick Abel

I bet some of you are wondering where Taijuan Walker and Spencer Turnbull are, but stay with me. Depending on how Mick Abel handles his first extended taste of Triple-A this season, the Phillies' current No. 2 prospect should be lacing them up at The Bank in 2025.

Will he start the season in the rotation? That's a better question to ponder.

Abel should be on pace to make his MLB debut sometime in 2024. Will it be a spot start in July, or a chance to solidify the bullpen late in the season? Maybe a little of both.

Abel has struggled with his control down on the farm and has a record of 1-1 with an alarming 6.94 ERA. His 14 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings have shown flashes of dominating Triple-A hitters, but walks have haunted Abel early in the season. His nine walks have contributed to his disappointing high ERA and 1.80 WHIP.

How do Taijuan Walker and Spencer Turnbull factor in?

Taijuan Walker is slated to return to the starting rotation following an IL stint with right shoulder soreness. Walker's results in three rehab starts have been suspect at best. His fastball was only touching the mid-90s during his final rehab start on Sunday. With three years and $54 million remaining on his contract, the Phillies will hope Walker can regain some semblance of the pitcher he was before he signed with the team last offseason.

Is there an alternate reality where the Phillies one day count their losses and send Taijuan Walker packing to the bullpen in a mop-up role? It could happen. Salaries tend to look more affordable after every offseason anyway, right?

Sending Walker to the pen would certainly be disappointing as an investment, but judging by manager Rob Thomson's recent words, the move isn't exactly out of the realm of possibility.

Meanwhile, Spencer Turnbull is making it hard for the Phillies to commit to Walker. Signed for a one-year, $2 million deal during spring training as a reclamation project, Turnbull has exceeded expectations in his four starts with a 2-0 record and minuscule 1.23 ERA in 22 innings. He flirted with his second career no-hitter in his last outing against the White Sox on Friday and left the mound after seven scoreless innings, allowing one hit, two walks and six strikeouts.

Wednesday's start against the Reds could be the last Phillies fans see of Turnbull in the rotation for a while. Even if he becomes a regular rotation piece at some point later in the season, his success will likely motivate him to secure a better free agent deal next offseason on the open market. Unless the Phillies come calling, who can blame him?

These are just some of the factors that could contribute to Abel being part of the Phillies rotation next season. Unless he fails to figure out Triple-A hitters, the 23-year-old would seem likely to be at a stage in his development where trying his hand against major league hitters would be the next logical challenge.

That could all change if top pitching prospect Andrew Painter makes a full recovery from Tommy John surgery and forces his way into the discussion, but 2025 should be the year Abel gets an extended look every five days on the mound.