Spring training game number six for the Phillies took place on Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins. Andrew Painter, the Phillies number one prospect, made his major league debut by throwing two innings.
Painter was set to face a challenging lineup, as the Twins were playing most of their major league players, but he was able to step up despite the challenge. He managed to throw multiple fastballs that were above 98 mph and strike out a couple of talented major-league hitters.
There were a couple of fastballs that were thrown right down the middle, where Nick Gordon and Christian Vazquez were able to hit solid singles, but overall, Painter’s performance was incredibly promising. Phillies manager Rob Thomson stated, “All first-pitch fastballs, so there’s some work we have to do there and mix a little better earlier in the count, but poise, you can see the poise.”
“You saw a little bit of what he can do and I think there’s a lot more in there,” said Garrett Stubbs, Phillies backup catcher, “Me calling pitches back there in his first time being out on a big-league field as part of spring training, I felt like we didn’t even get to the point where he can probably get to, but he did really well.” This is a common belief among the entire Phillies clubhouse. Everyone is expecting even more from the 19-year-old pitcher in the coming spring training games.
Afterward, Painter talking about his experience said “Felt pretty good, felt satisfied with the cutters I threw. It was pretty fast-ball heavy. I would’ve liked to have been in the zone a little more – that’s something to build off of heading into the next start. But really trying to focus on getting head early, I feel behind in a lot of counts, getting to hitter’s counts.”
Andrew Painter may still add some depth as he develops and reaches full physical and mental maturity. According to his fellow teammates, he seems to be advanced in every way. Phillies starting pitcher, Zack Wheeler told announcers that he does not act 19, which is probably one of the reasons why he will find himself in the major league sooner rather than later. Painter has control and command and his delivery appears to be effortless.
Painter is competing with several pitchers for the fifth starting position in the rotation for the Phillies. His primary competition is left-handed Bailey Falter who will start Thursday’s game against the Boston Red Sox. Michael Plassmeyer, Nick Nelson, and Christopher Sanchez are other viable options as well.
If Painter can have continued success in spring training, there is a good chance we will see him in that number-five spot on the Phillies rotation for the 2023 season.