PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies will need a starting pitcher this week after Vince Velasquez went on the disabled list Friday night.
There’s no reason why Toms River North High School graduate Mark Leiter Jr. shouldn’t get a turn.
Leiter has excelled in long relief. In his last two outings, he has struck out 16, walked none and allowed one run and six hits in a combined 91/3 innings.
“He has a variety of pitches that he’s thrown for quality strikes,” manager Pete Mackanin said. “He has been making a lot of good hitters look bad at the plate. He’s just pitching well, locating and throwing quality pitches. He’s got a variety of pitches, which helps. He’s not just pumping 95 past people.”
Leiter, 26, is the son of former major league pitcher Mark Leiter and the nephew of former New York Mets and Yankee standout Al Leiter.
The younger Leiter was not considered one of the Phillies top prospects when the season began.
“I’ll be honest,” Mackanin said. “I didn’t know anything about him. But I’m glad he’s here.”
Here’s our weekly look at the Phillies:
The center fielder began Saturday on a career-high, 14-game hitting streak. He was batting .382 (21 for 55) during the streak. Herrera was batting .342 (79 for 231) since June 1.
The rooking starting pitcher has given up 11 earned runs in seven innings in his last two starts.
The Phillies conclude a four-game home stand against the Mets on Sunday. Philadelphia then heads West again. The Phillies begin a seven-game road trip that takes them to San Diego and San Francisco on Monday.
Prospect of the week
Each Sunday, The Press will focus on a player who could make the team a winner again in the not-too-distant future.
J.P. Crawford, triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs
Project arrival in Philadelphia: 2017/2018
Crawford has long been considered the organization’s top prospect. He’s played like it since July 1. He was batting .292 (41 for 140) since that date with 11 home runs and 24 RBIs. Crawford had on-base percentage of .389 in July and .400 in August. His slugging percentage in both months was over .600.
Crawford appears primed for a promotion.