The Phillies made several minor league moves Thursday, shifting some minor league players around to fit roster limits and both adding some players to the IL and extending the stay of others. The most notable on the list are two of the top three prospects in the organization, pitchers Andrew Painter and Griff McGarry.
Painter, who made one spring training start and then reported tenderness in his elbow and was shut down, was moved from the 7-day IL to the 60-day IL. The move now means that he will not be pitching for either Reading or Lehigh Valley until early June at the earliest, since the move was not back dated. It is possible that he will begin throwing in extended camp prior to going on a rehab assignment to Clearwater and/or Jersey Shore before being officially activated in June and then assigned to either the Double-A or Triple-A level to begin his season.
The Phillies were taking a look at Painter, who turns 20 on Monday, in major league camp this spring as a potential fifth starter, but that plan was derailed by the injury, which is officially listed as a sprained ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Painter has been told that surgery is not necessary because the UCL is not torn, which would have resulted in undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing a year of baseball. He was initially shut down for four weeks, but his throwing program has not yet begun and the Phillies are going to bring him back slowly to be extremely cautious with their top prospect.
Then there is number-three prospect Griff McGarry. The Phillies had McGarry, 23, as a long-shot for the major league rotation, but he too came up with a spring injury that delayed his season. Right side tightness has put McGarry on the minor league IL to begin the season. McGarry’s status had been somewhat of a secretive issue for the Phillies this spring, but when he was not listed on either the Triple-A or Double-A rosters, the Phillies officially announced the injury. There is no specific timetable for his return.
The injuries leave number-two prospect Mick Abel as the lone member of the top three group of pitchers who begins the season healthy. He will start for Double-A Reading in the second game of the season on Saturday.
Philadelphia also moved 23-year-old right-hander Christian McGowan to the 60-day IL from the 7-day IL. McGowan has pitched in just six games over the past two seasons and underwent Tommy John surgery a year ago. The Phillies drafted McGowan in the seventh round of the 2021 Draft out of Eastern Oklahoma State. There is no timetable for his return.
Also moved from the 7-day IL to the 60-day IL was pitcher Jon Duplantier. The Phillies assigned Duplantier, 28, to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs where he was on the IL. The Diamondbacks made Duplantier their pick in the third round of the 2016 Draft, but injuries have limited him. He has pitched in the majors for Arizona in both 2019 and 2021, making seven starts and 12 relief appearances. His strangest injury came in 2021 when he cut his finger while shaving and had to be placed on the IL. He also missed time with right biceps tendinitis and missed all of 2020 with a right forearm strain and has also been on the IL with a strained right middle finger and a lat strain. After being released in 2021 by the Diamondbacks, Duplantier received minor league deals with San Francisco and the LA Dodgers before signing a minor league deal with the Phillies over the winter.
The Phillies also placed minor leaguers Cristian Hernandez, Madison Stokes, Nick Podkul, Uziel Viloria and San Jacobsak on the Developmental List in their minor league system.