Key Takeaways: Rob Thomson speaks on 2023 starting lineup, Andrew Painter, and more at Winter Meetings
Phillies manager Rob Thomson met with the media in San Diego during the Winter Meetings and discussed multiple things about next year’s Phillies.
Andrew Painter has “the best chance” to make Opening Day Roster
The biggest takeaway of today’s presser is the status of Andrew Painter, compared to guys like Mick Abel and Griff McGarry. According to Rob Thomson, Painter has “the best chance” to make the Opening Day roster out of those three guys.
Andrew Painter, 19, went absolutely ballistic in his first full year of minor league action, tallying a 1.48 ERA in 26 starts between three leagues. Painter started his season off in Single-A with Clearwater and threw a 1.40 ERA in 9 starts before being moved to High-A. He threw a 0.98 ERA in 8 starts with Jersey Shore, tallying 49 strikeouts, good for a K/9 of 12.0.
Painter was elevated to Double-A Reading along with Mick Abel back on August 14th and threw five more starts for the Fightin Phils, allowing just 8 earned runs in 28.1 innings. Painter was awarded with the Paul Owens Award, along with the Minor League Pitcher of the Year award.
The Phillies have their big three in Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Ranger Suarez, but a fourth pitcher would be ideal to have in-front of Painter. Thomson did say today that the Phillies would be fine if they had to roll with the guys they had, but the team is most certainly in the market for a starting pitcher, no matter the caliber.
Kyle Schwarber likes hitting leadoff; Turner may hit 2nd
It’s funny to hear Rob Thomson talk about the current team, because even though Trea Turner has agreed to his deal, Thomson can’t talk about him as a member of our team until the team makes it official.
Rob Thomson was asked about the leadoff spot next year, and didn’t really rule either option out. He said Schwarber loves to hit in the leadoff spot, which has been the best spot of his career. He also said that the Phillies could explore any options, even with guys that “are not on the team yet.” Thomson likes the idea of having a L/R/L Top 3 (once Bryce Harper returns), but will be open to different options before the season starts.
Thomson is “excited” for Bryson Stott to play 2nd base
Although Rob Thomson can’t specifically say Turner’s name, he did talk highly about Bryson Stott’s move back to second base due to Turner being the new everyday shortstop.
Bryson Stott is a 2nd baseman at heart, and moving him back to the position will only help his defense. Stott played 372 innings of 2nd base in 2022 and did not record a single error, logging a 1.000 fielding percentage in that time.