Phillies Will Reportedly Call Up Different Pitcher Instead Of Top Prospect

After it looked like the Philadelphia Phillies were putting one of their top prospects into position for a Major League call up this year, it seems like they're going to go in a different direction when that time presents itself.
May 26, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; A detailed view of a Philadelphia Phillies hat and glove on the bench against the Atlanta Braves in the seventh inning at Truist Park.
May 26, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; A detailed view of a Philadelphia Phillies hat and glove on the bench against the Atlanta Braves in the seventh inning at Truist Park. / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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The Philadelphia Phillies felt strongly about their starting rotation heading into this year after re-signing Aaron Nola and getting Zack Wheeler locked into a contract extension.

With those two at the top and Ranger Suarez, Taijuan Walker, and Cristopher Sanchez behind them, this looked like it would be a formidabble group on paper.

So far, that's been the case and even better than they might have imagined.

The Phillies starters are tied for the lowest ERA in all of baseball entering Tuesday with a 2.63. That comes even with the early struggles of Nola and Walker starting on the injured list.

Spencer Turnbull was a revelation for Philadelphia at the beginning of the season when filling in for their injured right-hander. With him still being in the mix after his conversion to reliever, this unit is extremely deep and put to bed some thoughts they might need to call upon their farm system to find arms.

However, over the course of the long year, there will be times when those minor league pitchers will be given opportunities.

It was thought their No. 3 overall prospect, Mick Abel, would potentially get his first promotion later in the year when rosters expand with a chance to stick on their roster in the playoffs.

But, it doesn't sound like that's the case anymore.

Alex Coffey and Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer say it's actually going to be a different prospect who gets promoted this year in the likely event they need him.

"Prized prospect Mick Abel has struggled to throw strikes in triple A. If the Phillies need a pitcher, [Michael] Mercado is shaping up as an option," says Lauber.

That's certainly interesting considering the high-profile that Abel has compared to Michael Mercado who is ranked as their No. 30 prospect.

"Mercado could contribute to the big league club as soon as this season. It's unclear what that would look like, but right now, the Phillies are stretching him out to five innings per outing, so presumably he is starting pitching depth," Coffey adds.

If it's solely based on performance, then it should be the less-touted pitcher who gets the call.

The 25-year-old has posted a 0.63 ERA across his 10 appearances and six starts that have spanned 28 2/3 innings. Comparted to Abel, who has a 5.40 ERA across his seven starts and 33 1/3 innings, the choice seems clear.

It will be interesting to see what the decision ultimately is if and when that time comes.


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Brad Wakai

BRAD WAKAI

Brad Wakai graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Journalism. While an undergrad, he did work at the student radio station covering different Penn State athletic programs like football, basketball, volleyball, soccer and other sports. Brad currently is the Lead Contributor for Nittany Lions Wire of Gannett Media where he continues to cover Penn State athletics. He is also a contributor at FanSided, writing about the Philadelphia 76ers for The Sixers Sense. Brad is the host of the sports podcast I Said What I Said, discussing topics across the NFL, College Football, the NBA and other sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @bwakai