Right-hander Scott Mathieson continues the comeback from his second Tommy
John surgery, starting at the lowest rung with the Gulf Coast League Phillies.
The Phillies are being very cautious with Mathieson, using him out of the
bullpen and giving him rest between outings. Mathieson has responded with five
innings of work, giving up just three hits and two walks, while striking out
six. What he hasn't given up are any earned runs and opponents are hitting just
.150 against him.
"He's throwing very well," said Phillies minor league director
Steve Noworyta. "Coming back from a second Tommy John, is tough, but so
far, Scott's progressing well. His velocity is coming around we're excited about
his progress." Noworyta is glad to see Mathieson having success and credits
his personality with helping to get him healthy. "This is a good guy. He
has kept a good attitude about everything and that makes his return even better,
because he is such a good guy."
Keep in mind that Mathieson just turned 25 in February, so don't count him
out even though he's essentially starting over on the ladder back to the majors.
Noworyta believes that the Phillies are taking the right path in just allowing
him to progress slowly.
Mike Zagurski is returning from Tommy John surgery and has pitched well for
Double-A Reading. The former major leaguer is 26 and actually started the season
at Clearwater before moving to Reading on late April. In 24 appearances,
Zagurski has recorded four saves in six opportunities and has a sturdy 3.49 ERA.
As with Mathieson, the Phillies are choosing to err on the side of caution and
aren't pushing Zagurski faster than they feel is good for him. So, will he be at
Triple-A Lehigh Valley anytime soon?
"We'll have to see. We're not going to rush him, but we're also not
going to hold him back longer than we think is necessary," stressed
Dominic Brown and Freddy Galvis have also missed considerable time with
Brown suffered a broken finger a month ago, but is close to returning to
action. Galvis has been out for two months after finger surgery, but he should
return before long as well. "They should both be back by the middle of the
month," said Noworyta about Brown and Galvis.
Brown was off to a good start at the plate for Clearwater, hitting .299 with
nine home runs in 187 at-bats. The injury was unfortunate, because Brown would
have likely had himself in position to have earned a promotion to Double-A if
not by now, then very soon. Galvis, who is known more for his defensive skills
than his offense, is just 19 years old and was hitting .250 at Clearwater when
he went down with the injury.
Another of the walking wounded, shortstop prospect Jason Donald, is also
getting close to returning. Donald went down with a torn meniscus on June 12th
and was expected to miss three or four weeks, which would have put him back with
the IronPigs by about July 10 and Noworyta says he's on pace to return to the
club either just before or just after the All-Star Break.
Noworyta also had good things to say about left-hander Sergio Escalona, who
has been shuttling between Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley. "He's got the
mentality to handle going back-and-forth," explained Noworyta. "When
you look at him, he's smiling and just soaking it all in. When he's with the big
league club, he's obviously glad to be there, but when he's back here [Lehigh
Valley], he realizes it's because he's still got a few things to learn and work
on." Escalona is just 24 and started the season at Double-A Reading before
moving to Lehigh Valley just before Memorial Day.
The Phillies have had their share of injuries to prospects, but a number of them are close to returning. Phillies minor league director Steve Noworyta talked with Philly Baseball News about how things are progressing in the Phillies minor league system.
News about some of the injured prospects that the Phillies hope to get back soon.