CLEARWATER, Fla. - Enyel De Los Santos said Saturday that he wants to be a starting pitcher, and the 6-foot-3 right-hander is expected to have the chance to do that as a part of the triple-A rotation at the start of the season.
But De Los Santos’ best route to the majors could be as a reliever. The Phillies prospect struck out four as he pitched the first two innings of a 3-2 loss to the Pirates in the Phillies’ Grapefruit League home opener Saturday at Spectrum Field.
Manager Gabe Kapler said last week that De Los Santos has the chance to “do something special out of the bullpen.” He worked in relief last season with the Phillies and his powerful fastball reached 98 mph.
He used his fastball, change-up, curveball, and slider on Saturday. His lone baserunner reached on a hit-by-pitch.
Kapler said De Los Santos makes a good profile for the bullpen because of his deceptive delivery, fastball velocity, an improving breaking ball, and an established change-up.
“We saw the 95 and 96 today but I don’t think that’s super unique in Major League Baseball,” Kapler said. “What I think is interesting is the combination of deception and that velocity. We think the slider is the better pitch between the curveball and the slider. Sometimes they tend to run together, so we’re trying to create a distinction between those two pitches. The change-up is a plus pitch for us.”
J.T. Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen, and Jean Segura all made their spring debuts for the Phillies as Kapler used a lineup heavy on regulars. Rhys Hoskins and Cesar Hernandez also started.
Segura went 1-for-3 and Hoskins had a double. The other four went hitless.