It figures that the three pitchers - Mark Appel, Zach Eflin and Jake Thompson - who were reassigned to minor league camp on Wednesday will comprise 60-percent of what should be a strong rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season. All three pitched well in their limited time with the big league club this Spring, but none were truly expected to make the Phillies roster coming out of Spring Training.
The 24-year old Appel threw two innings Wednesday for the Phillies, holding the Twins to just one hit, while striking out three and allowing just an unearned run in a split squad game. Thompson and Eflin also pitched against the Twins, with Thompson going three innings, allowing five hits, no runs and striking out one. Eflin allowed four hits and an unearned run over three innings, with two strikeouts. The impressive part is that none of the three pitchers allowed a walk, and neither did reliever Reinier Roibal, who threw a shutout inning to close out the 4-2 win. In fact, four other Phillies pitchers led the Phillies to an 8-2 win over Baltimore and none of them allowed a walk either. 18 innings without allowing a walk is an impressive feat, especially since much of the work was done by young pitchers.
In his first Spring outing, Appel had allowed four walks over two innings and was charged with one run, so the turnaround on Wednesday was good to see. Overall, Eflin pitched five innings in big league camp, allowing five hits and two walks, posting a 1.80 ERA. Thompson, who came to the Phillies in the Cole Hamels deal, also pitched in two games, allowing eight hits, but no earned runs over five innings, while walking just one.
Offensively, Darin Ruf hit two home runs against Baltimore and Cameron Rupp launched two solo shots against Minnesota. Rupp finished the day 2-for-3, while Ruf was 2-for-2 with a walk and three RBI.