June 25, 2024

As the Lehigh Valley IronPigs embarked on their journey north for the Triple-A season’s kickoff, pitcher Mick Abel remained in Clearwater, Florida, at the Phillies’ training facilities.

Abel, the Phillies’ first-round selection in 2020, is anticipated to be the top prospect for Lehigh Valley this season. However, he was not initially included on the team’s roster and will not participate in the opening Triple-A series. Manager Anthony Contreras clarified that the 22-year-old is still preparing his arm for the season.

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“So, Mick is currently in Florida,” Contreras informed reporters during IronPigs media day at Coca-Cola Park on Wednesday afternoon. “He’s working on filling his simulated games and getting his innings up to par. He won’t be starting for us this weekend, but he will make an appearance in the near future.”

The IronPigs are slated to face Worcester in a three-game series at home starting Friday evening. Right-hander Tyler Phillips will take the mound for the first game, followed by left-hander Kolby Allard on Saturday, and right-hander David Buchanan, who rejoined the Phillies organization after playing in Japan and South Korea, will start on Sunday.

Notes from Media Day:

– Right-hander Griff McGarry expressed optimism about transitioning to the bullpen after experiencing a decline in performance during the 2023 season. Phillies manager Rob Thomson informed him of the decision to use him as a reliever, and McGarry is excited about the opportunity to pitch more frequently. Despite being familiar with bullpen roles, he sees this as a chance for a fresh start and is eager to embrace it.

– Right-hander Michael Mercado shared that the Phillies are encouraging him to have more confidence in his fastball. He gained attention during Spring Training following a trade with Tampa Bay and is expected to serve as a bulk reliever in Triple-A.

– Infielder Rodolfo Castro, who joined the Phillies from Pittsburgh at last season’s deadline, spent limited time on the field due to a strategic move by the club to secure an extra minor-league option year. At the start of the 2024 season with Lehigh Valley, Castro is anticipated to receive regular playing time at shortstop, second base, and third base. Coach Contreras emphasized the importance of ensuring Castro’s readiness for potential opportunities with the Phillies.

– Utility man Weston Wilson returns to the IronPigs after setting a club record for home runs in a season last year and also gaining MLB experience. Coach Contreras highlighted Wilson’s comfort level within the organization and emphasized his significant role both with the IronPigs and potentially with the Phillies in the future. Wilson is expected to continue his impressive performance from the previous season and aims to surpass his own records.

The Philadelphia Phillies Are On A Focused Mission

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