Connor Phillips had one of his most impressive starts of his career on Saturday night. The 22-year-old right-handed starter struck out 13 batters in five innings for Double-A Chattanooga in their 12-2 win. He struck out the side in three of the five innings he pitched, recording a ground out and a line out for his other two outs during the game.
Phillips did allow two runs in the game. Two of the three hits he allowed produced runs. The first run came on a solo home run in the 3rd inning. He walked a batter in the 4th inning and he came around to score on a double later in the inning. When Phillips began the 5th inning he had 10 strikeouts and 77 pitches, but struck out the side on 16 pitches to complete his outing. The 13 strikeouts tied a career high – something he did once in 2021 when he was pitching for Modesto in Single-A and again in 2022 when he was with Dayton.
The 13 strikeouts by Connor Phillips pushed his season total to 65 and he’s done that in just 36.1 innings pitched. 2020’s 64th overall pick in the draft, Phillips has always had big time strikeout numbers – he has 326 of them in his 222.0 minor league innings. He’s been inconsistent when it comes to throwing strikes, though, too. He walked just one batter on Saturday night, but he had 18 of them in 36.1 innings for the Lookouts this season and 139 of them in his career. Having just turned 22 less than three weeks ago, Phillips is quite young for already being in Double-A. He’s going to need to cut down on the walks in the long run, but he’s showing elite stuff and that when he’s on top of his game he can dominate.
The Reds sign Teddy Stankiewicz
With more injuries piling up, leading to more openings in the minors, the Reds went out and made another free agent pitching signing, this time picking up Teddy Stankiewicz. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 2nd round of the 2013 draft and reached Triple-A, but following the 2019 season he elected free agency. He pitched in 2020 and early 2021 in the Chinese Professional Baseball League before signing to pitch for Tijuana in the Mexican League in the summer of 2021, but he pitched in just one game there. In 2022 he returned to China. This year he had returned to Tijuana and made five starts there with a 3.21 ERA in 28.0 innings with five walks and 33 strikeouts before he signed with the Reds. He was assigned to Louisville after signing.
You can see his career stats here.
I can see Phillips and Abbott in the starting pitcher role next year
Great night by Phillips. He has really been coming on lately. He threw a lot of strikes last night. Hopefully Boyle can learn a few things from him. We need all the starting pitching depth we can muster.
Stankeweicz could be interesting. Former 1st round pitchers usually have talent but they don’t always put it together on the expected timeline.
Don’t forget Williamson had a pretty above average outing for the Reds.