ATLANTA — As the focus slowly shifts toward 2013, we will attempt to do the same here at The Phillies Zone. So on a lazy Saturday, here are some minor-league notes...
PETTIBONE MOVES UP: Benny Looper always thought Jonathan Pettibone could move the quickest of the heralded starters that spent 2011 in single-A Clearwater. He was not the most hyped, but he was the most polished.
"We've thought highly of him," said Looper, the Phillies' assistant general manager. "We thought all along we had a good group in Clearwater last year. We thought he was the guy who could pitch better than the other guys. The other guys may have some more power stuff, but he has a good arm. A good change-up, an above-average fastball. We've thought all along he had better command and might move quicker. We talked about that a year ago."
Pettibone, ranked No. 4 in Baseball America's evaluation of the Phillies' system, was promoted to triple-A Lehigh Valley earlier in the week. The 22-year-old will make his debut Monday in Syracuse.
He posted a 3.30 ERA for double-A Reading, one season after a 2.96 clip at single-A Clearwater. He is not a strikeout pitcher (career 6.4 K/9 in minors) and doesn't really do anything flashy.
The results, so far, have come. Since June 1, Pettibone has fanned 39 and walked only six.
"He's pitched very well," Looper said. "I think it's time for him to go to the next level and be challenged by more veteran hitters. It's a good move for him and us."
CONFIDENCE FOR COLVIN: To replace Pettibone in Reading's rotation, Looper said Brody Colvin will receive a promotion. Colvin, originally viewed as the Clearwater pitcher with the highest ceiling, repeated single A in 2012 with mixed results.
His strikeout rate has improved from a season ago (7.9 to 6.0 K/9) but walks have increased, too. Since a five-game banishment to the Clearwater bullpen, Colvin has a 3.48 ERA in 51 2/3 innings as a starter. He has struck out 51 and walked 18 in that span.
The Phillies are still high on him.
"His last game wasn't very good but he's had several good outings," Looper said. "We think we need to get him out of there. He'll show you three 'plus' pitches. Three of them. We think it might help his confidence a little bit. We think it's the right time."
QUITE A DAY FOR BROWN: The IronPigs played a doubleheader Friday and Domonic Brown went 4 for 7 with a walk and a run scored while playing both left and right field.
And he made this catch, which earned him the No. 2 spot on SportsCenter's Top 10 plays:
Brown is hitting .393 (13 for 33) with two doubles and a home run since returning July 16 from a knee injury. He has a .772 OPS in 56 games for Lehigh Valley in 2012.
Be sure to check out The Inquirer's weekly minor-league package on Sunday. There are stories on Trevor May's freefall and Justin De Fratus' comeback.
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