Phils may promote pitching prospects

Club acquired bumper crop of hurlers in July deals

Phils may promote pitching prospects

PHOENIX -- This is one reason why Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. acquired so much pitching over the past year.

Phillies right-hander David Buchanan allowed 11 runs in the second inning in Tuesday night's 13-1 loss to the D-backs at Chase Field. He is the first Phillies pitcher to allow 11 or more runs in one inning since Hal Kelleher allowed a franchise-record 12 runs in the eighth inning against the Cubs on May 5, 1938. Buchanan also is the first Phillies pitcher to allow 11 or more runs in a start since Al Jurisch allowed 14 runs over eight innings against the New York Giants on June 28, 1947.

A roster move could be coming soon, if for no other reason than the Phillies might want a fresh arm in the bullpen. But the Phillies also might want to have Buchanan, who has allowed 18 runs in 5 2/3 innings in his last two starts, work on a few things in Triple-A. If that happens, the Phillies could see one of the prospects they acquired in July a little earlier than anticipated.

"We're probably going to discuss it [Wednesday]," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "We'll figure something out."

Amaro sat in the GM box at Citizens Bank Park a little more than a week ago to discuss the July trades that sent Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman to Texas, Jonathan Papelbon to Washington and Ben Revere to Toronto.

The Phillies received eight prospects in those deals. Six of them are pitchers, and four of them are starting pitchers. Add them to the four hurlers they acquired in December for Jimmy Rollins, Marlon Byrd and Antonio Bastardo.

"One of the biggest things that has affected us these past few years is we've lost Doc [Roy Halladay] and we've lost Cliff [Lee]," Amaro said. "When you lose top-of-the-rotation guys like that, they have to be replaced with quality, so that you can put yourself in a position to win every game. If you have quality starting pitching that can make up for a lot of deficiencies you have. That's one of the reasons why the Mets are outstanding. They're playing well. They're not a great offensive club, but they're doing enough defensively and have outstanding young pitching. That's something we're trying to focus on."

Triple-A Lehigh Valley right-hander Alec Asher is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts since joining the organization. Lehigh Valley right-hander Jerad Eickhoff is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in his first two starts in the system.

Philadelphia acquired Asher and Eickhoff in the Hamels deal. They are legitimate candidates for a promotion.

Of course, not all of the pitchers the Phillies acquired will pan out. They know this. But they hope a few will. Maybe one of them will take that first step in the near future.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.