Dombrowski on Spencer Howard’s rotation limits
Spencer Howard will get the start for a struggling Phillies team tonight at Citizens Bank Park against the Boston Red Sox. The Phillies are finally done burning Howard’s innings in Triple-A.
The club announced yesterday that Howard will replace Chase Anderson in the rotation and start Saturday night. Howard, as we all know, is the Phillies’ No. 1 Prospect and the No. 32 prospect in baseball.
It’s unclear on what we can expect from Howard, as the Phillies haven’t been willing to give up many details on his innings limit and how he might be used at the major league level. Howard has continuously battled shoulder issues each of the past two seasons. He threw 24 1/3 innings last season, 71 innings in 2019 and 112 innings in 2018. He will be monitored closely.
Dave Dombrowski spoke to the media and stated that they would “tackle that when we get there” in regards to Howard’s inning limits. Dombrowski continued saying that there is some wiggle room, but it would be a slow build up as the season continues.
“I guess there’s wiggle room, but I also don’t think, for example, he wouldn’t go out there and throw four innings tomorrow, five innings the next time, six innings the next time, seven innings the next time and keep going out there for seven innings. We don’t have that type of wiggle room with him. That would be way too many innings.”
There is no point for the Phillies to continue to save Howard. We are now in sink-or-swim mode with the Phillies top prospect. He needs to get things rolling so we know what type of pitcher we are dealing with for the future. Howard will be limited to about 60 pitches today. If he throws 100 pitches in a game this season, it would come as a surprise to Dave Dombrowski.
The Phillies missed on the back half of their rotation this offseason. Matt Moore and Chase Anderson have both struggled. Anderson is 2-4 with a 6.96 ERA in eight starts. Moore is 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in nine appearances that include three starts at the beginning of this season.
Vincent Velasquez took over Moore’s spot last month and now Spencer Howard will take Chase Andersons spot starting today.
Financially, I’ve seen people on social media say that Dombrowski screwed up here by paying $3 million and $4 million for Anderson and Moore. That simply isn’t true.
2021 Starting Pitcher Salary Rankings:
Wheeler is 11th. Nola is 26th. Eflin is 66th. Chase Anderson is 73rd. Matt Moore is 88th.
The Phillies took a risk on Anderson and Moore. It didn’t work. Time to move on. Velasquez has pitched great and today, the ball is in Spencer Howard’s hands. Ring that bell baby.