Yesterday in Reading, 23-year-old left-hander Matt Maloney pitched a season-high 7 2-3 innings in a 4-3 win over Altoona. Reading Eagle writer Don Stewart wonders if it was enough to get the Phillies' attention. [Link]
Stewart reports that in five June starts, Maloney has three wins, 30 strikeouts and a 2.51 ERA. Maloney credits better fastball command. "I’ve been able to spot my pitches down in the zone," he told Stewart. "In and out, both sides of the plate. That’s been a big key. And more consistency with my curveball, too."
On the season, the 6-4, 220-pound former third-round pick is 6-6 with a 3.86 ERA and 78/38 K/BB ratio. Too many homers though – 10 homers. Pitching last season for Low-A Lakewood, Maloney was named 2006 Sally League Pitcher of the Year and is rated by Baseball America as a better prospect than former teammate and tonight’s starter Kyle Kendrick.
Meanwhile in Columbus (AAA), Ottawa right-hander Bubba Nelson allowed three runs over six innings, including four walks, probably pitching himself out of contention for Saturday’s start. Today on his blog, Inquirer writer Todd Zolecki indicated the Phillies will indeed hand the ball to a minor leaguer Saturday.
Beerleaguer: The Mets didn't hit left-handers well last season, but I'm surprised to see they're hitting .302 off them in 2007. They don't hit Ryan Madson well, but maybe the thought is to have him on standby to relieve whichever pitcher they decide to call into action. They may also need Madson Friday for J.D. Durbin's start.