Haigwood Needs Command For Respect

Daniel Haigwood makes his second start of the season Wednesday night for Reading. If you want to know how he does, just look for one stat - walks. Because for Haigwood, success begins and ends with having command of his pitches.

Reading pitching coach Tom Filer can sum up Daniel Haigwood very concisely. "Once his command comes along, he won't be at this level very long," says Filer. In his first outing, Haigwood proved Filer right. He had nearly no command of his pitches and walked five hitters, resulting in a three-inning outing where he was hit for four earned runs.

Coming over in a blockbuster deal that sent Jim Thome to Chicago, there is a lot of spotlight on the players that the Phillies got in return. Daniel Haigwood is one of those players, but is fitting in well with his new teammates and doesn't mind the spotlight. "The more time I spend here, the more comfortable it gets," said Haigwood, who sort of figured on being at AAA Scranton to start the season. "I wasn't too surprised, but I thought I had a shot at starting at AAA. We're gonna have a really good team here (at Reading), so there's nothing wrong with starting out here," said the 22 year old left-hander.

Besides the spotlight of the trade, there's the spotlight of being on a pitching staff that was supposed to be one of the best in the minors. Add to that the fact that the Phillies have a bunch of good left-handed pitching coming along in the system and it would be easy for a young pitcher to fall by the wayside. Haigwood doesn't worry about standing out though. "When Cole (Hamels) gets moved up here, there's gonna be four lefties in the rotation. I don't know how that's gonna work out, but we'll see," laughed Haigwood. "You wanna stand out and be the best. I would rather be pushed than have everything be easy. It makes everybody a little bit better that way," believes Haigwood.

When Haigwood's command does come around - and Filer is a firm believer that it will - he could compare favorably to another pitcher that the Phillies had their eye on for a number of years; Souderton's Jamie Moyer. "He has a great feel for deception and how to get guys out. I would say not quite in the Jamie Moyer vein, but something similar. He's got a lot more fastball than Moyer does and could be the same type of pitcher," said Filer.

With Reading off to a slow start, they're looking for al of their young pitchers to show the potential that is obvious in their game. Haigwood looks to correct himself after his bad outing in the second game of the season. If he does, it could be a long night for the Binghamton Mets.


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