The 11 or 12 pitchers who begin 2011 with the Ironpigs will most likely come from the list below. Some of these pitchers may start the season with the Phillies, some will be assigned to Reading and others who don’t make the Ironpigs will be looking to catch on with another team.
In alphabetical order, here’s a brief capsule of each:
1. Matt Anderson, DOB 8/17/76. 6’4″ 200, Right-handed relief pitcher. First overall pick by Tigers in 1997 draft. Fastball once clocked at 103 mph. Showed promise as a pro and led the Detroit Tigers in Saves with 22 in 2001. He never fully recovered from an injury in 2002 and has been out of professional baseball since 2008 but is trying to make a comeback. (see January 31 thread titled ‘a real life fairytale’)
2. Brian Bass, DOB 1/6/82. 6’2″ 215, Right-handed relief/starter. 6th round pick by the Royals in 2000. Career major league record of 9-7 5.16. He spent all of 2009 with the Baltimore Orioles going 5-3 in 48 games. In AAA he was 7-3 3.48 with Rochester in 2007 and 4-4 3.26 with 2 Saves with the Indianapolis Indians in 2010. His career record in AAA of 13-12 4.05 with 3 Saves.
3. Antonio Bastardo, DOB 9/21/85. 5’11” 195, Left-handed relief pitcher. Signed by Phillies as an amateur free agent in 2005. Career 4-3 5.53 major league record which includes 5 starts. 45 big league strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings pitched. 1-1 2.08 with 3 Saves for the Ironpigs in 2010. 335 strikeouts in 292 minor league innings. A good candidate to begin the season in the Phillies bullpen.
4. Eddie Bonine, DOB 6/6/81. 6’5″ 220, RHP. Acquired by Tigers from Padres in 2005 Rule 5 Draft. Spent entire 2010 season with the Tigers, going 4-1 4.63. Career major league record of 7-3. From 2007-2009 was used exclusively as a starting pitcher in the minors. Career minor league record of 49-39.
5. Nate Bump, DOB 7/24/76. 6’2″ 195, RH Starting Pitcher. Attended Penn St. & was 1998 1st Round pick by Giants. 6-7 4.68 career major league record, all with Florida. 8-4 3.35 and IL All-Star with 2010 Ironpigs. Was once traded by the Giants with Jason Grilli (see #13 below) to the Florida Marlins for Livan Hernandez.
6. Drew Carpenter, DOB 5/18/85. 6’3″ 240. RH Starting Pitcher. Attended Long Beach St., drafted by Phillies in round 2 of the MLB draft in 2006. Started 1 game for the Ironpigs in 2008, 25 games in 2009 and 27 in 2010. Went 11-6 3.35 in 2009 and was the winning pitcher in the AAA Allstar Game, throwing 1 inning and recording 3 strikeouts on just 9 pitches. Ranks first in career wins for the Ironpigs with 19. He has a 1-1 career record with the Phillies.
7. Michael Cisco, DOB 5/23/87. 5’11” 190. RH Starting Pitcher. Selected by the Phillies in the 36th round of the 2008 draft. He is the grandson of former major league pitcher and former Phillies pitching coach Galen Cisco. He was 4-11 4.73 with Reading in 2010 and also started 1 game for the Ironpigs with no decision. His career minor league record is 16-19 3.55.
8. Justin De Fratus, DOB 10/21/87. 6’4″ 215. RH Relief Pitcher. 11th Round Draft pick by the Phillies in 2007. Began his professional career as a starter but emerged as a top pitching prospect in 2010 when he was converted to a reliever. Went 2-0 1.79 with 15 Saves at Clearwater and 1-0 2.19 with 6 Saves at Reading in 2010. In 65 innings he struck out 71 batters while walking only 16. He added 7 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts in the Arizona Fall League. Reading is the logical place for him to begin the 2011 season but a good spring could get him on the Ironpigs Opening Day roster. If he does well, a 2011 promotion to the Phillies is not out of the question. He has closer potential.
9. Ryan Edell, DOB 7/6/83. 6’1″ 215. LH Starting Pitcher. Ryan was signed as a minor league free agent in December. He came up through the Cleveland organization and was released from AA Akron in May, 2010. He was quickly picked up by the Oakland A’s who assigned him to AA Midland in the Texas League where he was teammates with Justin Friend (#11 below). With Midland he went 10-4 3.17 in 20 starts. He also pitched game 3 of the league championship series and threw 7 scoreless innings, leaving the game with a 1-0 lead. The bullpen blew the lead and Midland lost 2-1.
10. Ryan Feierabend, DOB 8/22/85. 6’3″ 190. Left Handed Starting Pitcher. 2003 3rd round draft pick by the Seattle Mariners. Career major league record of 2-11 7.22, all with the Mariners. Was 7-1 2.04 in 13 starts for AAA Tacoma in 2008. Elbow surgery in March, 2009 forced him to miss the entire season. Pitched at 3 levels in 2010 going a combined 5-8 5.14 in his first year after Tommy John surgery.
11. Justin Friend, DOB 6/21/86. 6’1″ 200. RH Relief Pitcher. Drafted by Oakland in 13th round of 2007 draft. 10-14 3.69 career minor league record. Pitched entire 2010 season at AA Midland going 3-3 3.70 in 56 innings. He was claimed by the Phillies in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft.
12. Brian Gordon, DOB 8/16/78. 6’0″ 185. RH Relief Pitcher. Drafted by Arizona in round 7 of the 1997 draft. He was an outfielder through the 2006 season and has 118 career minor league homeruns. Converted to pitcher under the tutelage of hall of famer Nolan Ryan while with the Astros organization in 2007. He has a career minor league record of 20-13 3.44. He was 1-3 3.46 with 86 strikeouts in 78 innings for the Ironpigs in 2010.
13. Jason Grilli, DOB 11/11/76. 6’4″ 185. RH Relief Pitcher. Fourth overall pick in 1997 behind Matt Anderson (#1 above), J.D. Drew and Troy Glaus. He’s the son of former big league pitcher Steve Grilli. His career major league record is 18-18 4.74 with his best year being 2008 when he went 3-3 3.00 while pitching for Detroit and Colorado. He has a career record of 21-18 in the International League, all as a starting pitcher. He suffered a serious knee injury during 2010 spring training with the Cleveland Indians forcing him to miss the entire 2010 season.
14. David Herndon, DOB 9/4/85. 6’5″ 230. RH Relief Pitcher. Selected by the Phillies (from the Angels) in the 2009 Rule 5 Draft. In order to keep him, he had to remain on the Phillies active roster for the entire 2010 season. He went 1-3 4.30 in 52 1/3 innings for the Phillies. He has a 26-23 3.78 record with 28 Saves in the minors, having never pitched above the AA level. 50 of his 132 minor league games have been as a starting pitcher.
15. Derrick Loop, DOB 12/11/83. 6’3″ 220. LH Relief Pitcher. 23rd Round draft pick by the Indians in 2006. He began the 2010 season pitching for the Independent League Camden Riversharks, managed by former Phillies outfielder Von Hayes. In 33 games he had a 1.72 ERA when he was signed to a minor league contract by the Phillies. He was assigned to the Clearwater Threshers and went 4-1 0.36 in 25 innings. His strong performance earned him a Labor Day weekend promotion to the Ironpigs. In his one outing in AAA on September 5th he pitched 3 scoreless innings and was the winning pitcher vs. the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. He has mastered the art of the pickoff move prompting David Laurila of Baseball Prospectus to write, “Derrick Loop has the best pickoff move in professional baseball. Not one of the best, the best .”
16. Scott Mathieson, DOB 2/27/84. 6’3″ 190. RH Relief Pitcher. Drafted by Phillies in round 17 of the 2002 draft. Started 8 games for the Phillies in 2006 going 1-4. He has been on the comeback trail after requiring two Tommy John surgeries on his pitching elbow. He missed the entire 2008 season and pitched just 32 innings in 2009 plus another 13 impressive innings in the 2009 Arizona Fall League. In 2010 he was handed the closer role with the Ironpigs and responded by going 3-6 2.80 with 26 Saves and 83 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings pitched. He’s still in the process of developing a solid secondary pitch to go with his 96-99 mph fastball. The Phillies hired hall of famer Bruce Sutter late in the 2010 season to try to teach him a split finger fastball. Positive results could land Scott in the Phillies bullpen as a replacement for Chad Durbin.
17. Dan Meyer, DOB 7/3/81. 6’2″ 225. LH Relief Pitcher. Meyer is another lefty in the bullpen with major league experience who will give the Phillies some depth if one of the lefties in the bullpen falters. After going 3-2 3.09 in 71 games for the Marlins in 2009, a calf injury limited him to just 13 big league games (plus some time in the minors) in 2010. He was a 2002 1st round draft pick by the Atlanta Braves and was sent to Oakland as part of the deal that brought Tim Hudson to Atlanta. The Phillies signed him as a minor league free agent with an invitation to major league spring training.
18. Drew Naylor, DOB 5/31/86. 6’4″ 235. RH Starting Pitcher. The Phillies signed the big Aussie as an undrafted free agent in March, 2004. In the past 4 years he has been used almost exclusively as a starting pitcher. He was 12-10 4.63 with the Reading Phillies in 2010 and then pitched briefly for the Brisbane Bandits in the offseason Australian League. While it’s possible he could still need some additional seasoning in AA he will be in the competition for a spot in the starting rotation with the Ironpigs in 2011.
19. Juan Perez, DOB 9/3/78. 6’0″ 180. LH Relief Pitcher. Juan was signed by the Red Sox as an undrafted free agent in 1998. The Phillies are his 6th organization. He pitched very briefly in the major leagues for the Pirates in 2006-2007 but he has extensive experience as a left handed specialist in the minors. He was 4-3 2.96 with Albuquerque in the PCL in 2010 and recorded 53 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings. In his minor league career he is 38-40 3.52 with 31 Saves and has 693 strikeouts in 694 2/3 innings. He has plenty of International League experience, pitching for Pawtucket, Norfolk, Indianapolis and Gwinnett.
20. J.C. Ramirez, DOB 8/16/88. 6’3″ 225. RH Starting Pitcher. One of the 3 players acquired from Seattle in the Cliff Lee deal. He is likely to start the season in the starting rotation in Reading. Scouting reports indicate he has the talent but to date he hasn’t lived up to the potential. At age 22 there’s still time for him to develop. He was 4-3 4.06 at Clearwater last year and 3-4 5.45 with Reading.
21. Michael Schwimer, DOB 2/19/86. 6’8″ 246. RH Relief Pitcher. 14th round draft pick by the Phillies in 2008. He has been very consistent in his 3 professional seasons. He pitched well for Reading in 2010 going 5-3 3.60 with 11 Saves and struck out an impressive 58 batters in 40 innings. He didn’t falter when he was promoted to the Ironpigs and finished with a 2-2 record and 1.35 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 20 AAA innings. In his 166 career innings he has 227 strikeouts while walking just 57. He has the ability to throw 3 pitches for strikes and at 6’8″ his pitches can be very deceptive.
22. Michael Stutes, DOB 9/4/86. 6’1″ 185. RH Relief Pitcher. Selected by the Phillies in the 11th round of the 2008 draft. Prior to 2010 he was used almost exclusively as a starting pitcher going a combined 15-10 in the ’08-’09 seasons. He began the 2010 season at Reading where he went 3-0 3.79 with 2 Saves in 35 2/3 innings and striking out 37. After being promoted to the Ironpigs he went 4-1 3.10 ERA (1 Save) with 42 strikeouts in 40 2/3 innings. In his 76+ innings in 2010 he walked 44 batters. If he can bring that number down he will be a very effective middle innings reliever.
23. Vance Worley, DOB 9/25/87. 6’2″ 230. RH Starting Pitcher. Vance was selected by the Phillies in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft. He pitched so well in his rookie season at Williamsport and Lakewood that he hopped right over Clearwater and went directly to Reading. The last Phillies pitcher to do that was Randy Wolf. His 2009 season at Reading was marked with inconsistency. After a good start he slumped, finishing 2009 at 7-12 5.34. He returned to Reading again in 2010 this time going 9-4 3.20 before earning a promotion to the Phillies. He pitched in 1 game on July 24th throwing 1 perfect inning while recording 2 strikeouts. He was then sent back to the minors but this time he was assigned to the Ironpigs. In 8 starts he went 1-3 with a 3.77 ERA. He was called back up to the Phillies in September and pitched in 4 more games, 2 of them starts. He won his first major league game on September 19 and finished the year 1-1 with an impressive 1.38 ERA. He should get some consideration for the number 5 spot in the Phillies rotation this year but much depends on what happens with Joe Blanton. If he’s not with the Phillies, he’ll be a solid starter for the Ironpigs.
24. Mike Zagurski, DOB 1/27/83. 6’0″ 220. LH Relief Pitcher. Mike was a 12th round draft pick by the Phillies in 2005. He is another Phillies pitcher who had his career sidetracked by Tommy John surgery forcing him to miss the entire 2008 season. He pitched effectively for Clearwater and Reading in 2009 and spent most of the 2010 season with the Ironpigs going 2-3 3.27 with 3 Saves. He struck out 71 batters in 52 1/3 innings. He did pitch for the Phillies in 2006 and again briefly in 2010. Inn his major league career he has recorded 32 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings. He should challenge fellow lefties Antonio Bastardo and J.C. Romero for a spot in the Phillies bullpen in 2011.
The general consensus is that the top 2 pitching prospects in the Phillies organization are Brody Colvin and Jarred Cosart. Both are 20 year old right-handers who pitched for the Lakewood BlueClaws in 2010. They will likely begin 2011 at Clearwater but it would not be surprising if one or both did like Vance Worley and hop over Clearwater and move directly to AA Reading. The Phillies have the luxury of not having to rush them. Trevor May is another who spent time between Lakewood and Clearwater in 2010. He’s a power strikeout pitcher who needs to work on his control. He struck out 182 batters in 135 innings in 2010 but also walked 81. The marquee name coming to Philadelphia in the Cliff Lee trade with Seattle was Phillippe Aumont. The Mariners had converted him into a relief pitcher but the Phillies efforts to turn him back into a starter failed miserably. 2011 will see Aumont back in the bullpen where he seems to be more comfortable. Another pitcher of note is 2010 #1 draft pick Jesse Biddle. The lefty lived up to all expectations in his limited playing time last year and will be playing a full season for the first time in 2011. He’s still only 19. Other pitchers to watch are Eric Pettis, Austin Hyatt, Josh Zeid and Julio Rodriguez. Pettis was a low round draft pick in 2010 out of Cal-Irvine and impressed at Williamsport by going 8-0 1.37 with 7 Saves. In 59 innings he allowed just 43 hits while walking only 7 and striking out 67. Hyatt began 2010 at Clearwater and went 11-5 3.04 before being promoted to Reading where he started 4 games. It would be a surprise to no one if he sees time with the Ironpigs sometime during the 2011 season. Zeid was 8-4 2.93 at Lakewood last year. He started 12 games and also had 8 Saves out of the bullpen. Rodriguez was yet another young pitcher who pitched at Lakewood in 2010 after being promoted from Williamsport. He was 5-1 1.44 and had 90 strikeouts in 56 1/3 innings.