Dombrowski: Phillies will leave one rotation spot open for a “young starter” in 2023
Dave Dombrowski announced this morning that the Phillies will keep one rotation job open for a young starter in 2023.
Dombrowski did not specify which starter, but the Phillies have three true options…Bailey Falter, Cristopher Sanchez, and Andrew Painter.
Bailey Falter has the most experience and gave the Phillies some valuable innings in 2022. Falter tallied a 3.86 ERA in 20 appearances (16 starts) this season, striking out 74 batters and logging an ERA+ of 106 in 84 total innings.
Falter became valuable to the Phillies rotation as a second left-hander behind Ranger Suarez. The Phillies rotation has been righty-dominated for a while now, with Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola as their #1 and #2 guys. Falter did a great job of filling in the back-end role this past season, especially after the injury of Zach Eflin kept him out of the rotation for the rest of the year.
Cristopher Sanchez made three starts for the Phillies and appeared out of the bullpen 12 times in 2022. Sanchez held a 5.63 ERA in 40 total innings, allowing 25 earned runs and 38 hits while striking out 35 batters.
Andrew Painter, the #1 prospect in the Phillies organization, is the arm that everyone is waiting for. Painter has dominated in just two years of the minor-league ball and has turned heads all around major-league baseball as a top pitcher to look out for throughout the future. Painter logged a 0.98 in High-A in 2022, with a 2.54 in five Double-A starts.
The only question with Painter is his availability at the beginning of next season, as he has never thrown in Triple-A. The 19-year-old was named Minor League Pitcher of the Year back in September.
As of right now, the most likely scenario seems like Bailey Falter to start the year. Falter would slide out of that spot once Painter is ready, which shouldn’t be far after Opening Day. Dombrowski said he wants to add another starter to fill out that rotation, but it is unknown whether that would be a star like Justin Verlander or Carlos Rodon or a back-end filler.