Caution with a young pitcher is always the prudent and preferred way to go, but when you have a pitcher as talented as Savery, there are times when caution can be tossed to the wind and he can be pushed along onto the proverbial fast track that runs through the Phillies minor league system and stops in Philadelphia. Lakewood, Clearwater and Reading are stops along the way and Savery hurdled right past the exit for Lakewood to start the season at Clearwater. Now, it appears that Clearwater doesn't need to be a stop, it's more like just a drive-thru on the way up. Double-A Reading is where this young left-hander needs to be.
Savery made his third start of the season Sunday and it was better than either of his first two starts. He threw eight shutout innings against Lakeland, giving up just five hits and a walk while striking out four. He lowered his season ERA to 0.90 in the effort. Through three starts, Savery is 1-1 and has pitched 20 innings, giving up 15 hits and 8 walks with 13 strikeouts. Okay, the walk/strikeout ratio isn't great, but five of those walks came in his first outing of the season. Opponents are now hitting .195 against him.
With every move up, someone must move down. It would stand to reason that Fabio Castro could move from Reading to Lehigh Valley and Brian Mazone, who doesn't figure to help the big league club anytime soon, could fall to Clearwater or be jettisoned. The move would put Castro, who threw a gem on Saturday when he flirted with a no-hitter, closer to a return to the majors. Castro would be facing a better caliber of hitters and a much lesser prospect in Mazone would be the one facing demotion.
At this point, it appears that Savery's timetable can be turned up by a few notches. That's not to say that he figures to be ready for a Major League audition in 2008, but putting him in a battle for a big league starting spot next spring wouldn't be out of the question. The Phillies have been mum on just how quickly they're willing to run Savery up the ladder, but you have to believe that behind the scenes there are some discussions about his immediate future. His promotion would also put the top two pitching prospects in the organization - Savery and Carlos Carrasco - at the Double-A level.
Honestly, Savery could surpass Carrasco as the best in the organization. Savery's emergence to Double-A could also let the Phillies judge him and Carrasco side-by-side and would allow them to showcase both and potentially allow them to decide which one - if either - they would consider trading at the deadline if the big league club needed a helping arm.
For so many reason, moving the dominant 22 year old lefty along makes a lot of sense.