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Adversity Has Only Made Bailey Falter Into a Better Pitcher

Bailey Falter had an encouraging end to the 2022 season. Is it enough to earn him a spot in the Philadelphia Phillies 2023 rotation?

Every team needs pitching.

Especially starting pitching.

The Philadelphia Phillies are no different.

Despite a deep run to Game 6 of the World Series, it was abundantly clear that the Phillies could have used another starter or two. That was arguably the biggest difference between winning and losing the World Series to the Houston Astros.

Let’s assume the Phillies sign at least one starting pitcher in free agency.

Beyond that, help could be right in front of them in terms of player development.

Meet Bailey Falter.

The young left-hander proved his mettle at times during the regular season with a 6-4 record and 3.86 ERA in 20 games with 16 starts.

Falter started one game against the San Diego Padres in the National League Championship Series and allowed three hits and four runs in two-thirds of an inning. Not great numbers but the experience will be valuable as Falter advances in his career.

Falter was one of the most pleasant bright spots in the rotation as the season progressed. When Falter was locating his pitches, he was extremely effective. When he was off with command, the results weren’t as good.

That’s not surprising since that scenario would be the same for a Cy Young candidate.

That improved command came late in the season, when Falter began to rely on the four-seam fastball as his primary pitch, instead of his sinker.

Player development is often overlooked in Major League Baseball.

The Phillies look to have a rising standout in Falter.

Rewind back to August when Zack Wheeler was injured. Falter went 5-0 with a 2.43 ERA in five starts during one stretch. It was clearly the best stint of the 25-year-old Falter’s young career and show what the promising future that could lay ahead.

Falter had been optioned to the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs seven, count ‘em, seven times. That's enough shake any young player’s confidence.

But Falter continued to put in the work, and that was evident in August when the Phillies needed him most.

“I’m not going to lie,” Falter told in September. “The first two or three times, it’s kind of frustrating. And then I just told myself, 'Dude, you’re doing literally everything you possibly can, just don’t get frustrated. It’s not in your control. Just control the only thing you can, which is coming up and giving the team a chance to win.' So that’s how I’ve been living this year.”

If the Phillies can continue to see this type of development, another top tier starting pitcher will be ready to go in 2023.

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