Since coming over from the Cincinnati Reds for outfielder Marlon Byrd, Ben Lively has been somewhat trapped behind a barrage of higher touted pitching prospects that were in the organization then and that have joined the organization since. Perhaps 2016 is the season that he'll thrust himself up into that elite group of pitchers and force his way higher on the prospect charts.
Lively is off to a good start to the season and in his last two starts, was dominating against Richmond and New Hampshire. Combined, Lively pitched 13 innings in the two games, allowing just six hits and no walks. He struck out 11 batters, with opponents hitting just .185 against him over that stretch and a 0.461 WHIP for his two starts. The 13 scoreless innings extends his shutout innings streak to 16 straight, dating back to April 13th against Richmond. On the season, Lively is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in four starts, 16 hits allowed, two walks and 27 strikeouts in 24 innings of work this season. On the year, opponents are hitting .186 against him and he has a WHIP 0.750 on the season. Lively has also pitched six or more innings in three of his four starts.
Last week, the Phillies had three weekly league honorees, with Zach Eflin winning Pitcher of the Week in the International League and Jorge Alfaro and Mitch Walding picking up Player of the Week honors in the Eastern and Florida State Leagues, respectively.
The Phillies had Lively at Reading for all of last season after acquiring him from Cincinnati. In 25 starts, he was 8-7 with a 4.13 ERA for the Fightins. Originally, Lively was a fourth round pick of the Reds in the 2013 Draft out of the University of Central Florida. Lively had pitched in both High-A ball and at Double-A for Cincinnati in 2014, prior to being dealt to the Phillies.