Saturday, December 20, 2014

Jesse Biddle returns, smothers entire Single A baseball team

While 2014 first-round draft pick Aaron Nola impressed in his Reading debut, the Phillies' first selection from 2010 was having success of his own in Clearwater.

Jesse Biddle returns, smothers entire Single A baseball team

(Getty Images Sport)
(Getty Images Sport)

While 2014 first-round draft pick Aaron Nola impressed in his Reading debut, the Phillies' first selection from 2010 was having success of his own in Clearwater.

It was several fretful months ago that 22-year-old Phillies pitching prospect Jesse Biddle could only shake his head. After being consistently ranked highly among Phillies minor leaguers, he had spent the season being uncomfortable on the mound, and things did not get better when he sustained a concussion from a hail storm.

"I'm miserable out there," he told the Reading Eagle. "I'm very unhappy and I don't know why."

That manifested itself in the form of a 5.03 ERA in 78.2 innings, his SO/BB ratio dropping below 2.00. Biddle was given a mental vacation to sort things out, during which time he had a conference planned with Roy Halladay, who served as a mentor for Biddle during spring training as well.

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With no pitch count, Biddle was unleashed on the Daytona Cubs last night in Clearwater. The first three batters he faced went down swinging through air.

Through five innings, Biddle was oppressive, allowing no hits, one walk and five strikeouts. He was pulled before the sixth, and the Clearwater bullpen allowed only two hits before going onto a stifling 4-0 win.

Biddle credited many Phillies staffers, among them former pitcher Dickie Noles, with helping him during his break.

In the wake of Nola's solid start, Biddle's return is great news for the Phillies minor league pitching, as the Reading Fightin Phils have had a hard time replacing the 22-year-old.
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