Shocking midseason turnaround gives Phillies newfound pitching depth

The Phillies might have more pitching depth than first thought after Kolby Allard's big June turnaround.
Philadelphia Phillies minor league pitcher Kolby Allard had a shocking turnaround in June
Philadelphia Phillies minor league pitcher Kolby Allard had a shocking turnaround in June / VIEW press/GettyImages
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With the recent injuries to starter Taijuan Walker and makeshift starter Spencer Turnbull, the Philadelphia Phillies suddenly find themselves a bit thin in starting pitching depth. However, the Phillies might not need to worry much longer as they may actually have a solid option brewing in their minor league system after a significant midseason turnaround by former pitching standout Kolby Allard.

Despite being a former first-round pick, selected 14th overall by the Atlanta Braves back in 2015, Allard has been a huge disappointment so far in his MLB career. After struggling in stints with the Braves and Texas Rangers as a starter and reliever in his previous six seasons, the Phillies took a flyer on the 26-year-old left-hander.

Shocking midseason turnaround gives Phillies newfound pitching depth

Signing him to a one-year, $1 million deal, they were hoping that Allard could rediscover the form that made him a high draft pick and, in doing so, serve as valuable pitching depth for the organization.

However, things initially didn’t go as planned for Allard in 2024 with the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Through his first eight appearances of the season, he struggled mightily to an abysmal 0-4 record, a 10.71 ERA and 2.53 WHIP. He battled command and control issues, walking 17 batters in just 19 1/3 innings pitched. Things got so bad that he was actually sent down to the FCL Phillies briefly, then to Double-A Reading in late May to work on his game. 

But when Allard returned to Lehigh Valley in early June, he appeared to be a completely different pitcher. In his five June games (four starts), he went 2-1 with a sparkling 2.81 ERA and 1.32 WHIP while walking only seven and striking out 26 in 25 2/3 innings of work.

To put things into perspective of just how dreadful he was before, his recent strong stretch brought his season ERA down to just 6.54 and his WHIP to 1.81 on the year.

If Allard can maintain his newfound level of dominance in the coming weeks, he could potentially be a strong internal option down the stretch for the Phillies to consider if they need help in the rotation or as a bulk reliever in the bullpen. In any event, it could finally be Allard’s coming out year in the big leagues after numerous sub-par seasons to date. At least, for the Phillies, they certainly hope so.

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