If Andrew Painter isn’t ready for Opening Day, the Phillies have two options for their 5th starting pitcher
19-year-old phenom Andrew Painter is the best prospect this organization has ever seen…but it seems he may not be ready for Opening Day.
Andrew Painter made his first start at the Major League level back on Wednesday, throwing two innings of one-run ball against the Twins. The young prospect came into the facility Thursday morning with a “tender” elbow, which led to him having multiple tests done to find out the severity of the injury. Five days later, we still haven’t heard anything.
A report from Todd Zolecki was released last night saying that the injury didn’t seem to be season-ending or anything extremely serious based on reactions around the building. The Phillies’ ultimate goal is to handle Andrew Painter with care, considering he’s just 19 years old and has as much potential as any arm we’ve ever seen.
Andrew Painter had a shot to be the 5th starter on Opening Day, but his chances are going down as the days go on. He’s thrown just two innings to major league hitters, and the Phillies most certainly won’t throw him out there after a limited amount of action. Will he make his debut at some point in the first few months? If the injury isn’t serious, yes.
With Andrew Painter out, the Phillies have a few options to round out their starting rotation.
Bailey Falter is the favorite to land the role as of today. Falter logged a 3.86 ERA in 2022, throwing 84 innings with a 1.21 WHIP as a backend guy on the Phillies’ run to the World Series. Falter played a huge role in the loss of Zach Eflin for the last two months of the regular season, going 6-4 in 16 starts with a 1.2 WAR and 74 strikeouts.
Falter, just 25 years old, will be entering his third major league season with the Phillies and started to show some real potential on the mound last season. Bailey Falter leads the race strictly due to Major League experience and signs of lockdown stuff during the most memorable Phillies run of the last 15 years.
Michael Plassmeyer is the only other realistic lefty option that the Phillies currently have. Plassmeyer, 26, was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 4th round of the 2018 draft and has been in the Phillies minor-league system since 2021.
Plassmeyer made two appearances out of the bullpen for the Phillies in 2022, logging a 3.68 ERA in 7.1 total innings. In his time in Triple-A, Plassmeyer made 16 starts and tallied a 2.85 ERA, 82 strikeouts, and a 1.049 WHIP.
These next few days could be telling when it comes to that final rotation spot. We’re sure to find out news on Andrew Painter very soon. Plassmeyer threw on Monday afternoon, going 2.1 scoreless and allowing two hits, and Bailey Falter will start today’s game vs. the Rays at 1:05. Cristopher Sanchez is a third option that the Phillies have, but it seems like Falter and Plassmeyer are ahead of him if the season started today.