In what may not be a popular move, the Simulation Minnesota Twins have sent backup catcher and Joe Mauer safety valve Ryan Doumit to the Simulation Philadelphia Phillies is return for a pair of 22-year old pitchers.
Jonathan Pettibone split time between double and triple-A, combining for a 3.10 ERA in 26 starts. The right-hander has excellent command, posting walk rates south of 8% in his minor league career while pairing with that fairly pedestrian strikeout numbers. He ranked as Philadelphia's #11 prospect in 2012, promting this from the Phillies' MLB prospect page:
His raw stuff may not measure up to Trevor May or Brody Colvin, but it’s plenty good and Pettibone has a much better feel for pitching than his organization mates. He’ll throw his fastball up to 93 mph, his changeup will be at least above-average and he continues to improve his slider. Pettibone commands everything well, especially that fastball, which allows his stuff to play up, in scouting parlance. He’s shown he’s extremely durable and moved up the Phillies’ ladder to Triple-A Lehigh Valley at the end of July.
In addition to Pettibone comes strikeout pitcher Julio Rodriguez, also 22 in 2013. He spent all of 2012 in double-A for the first time, starting 22 games and adding seven more appearances out of the bullpen. While he gave up more hits than scouts were used to seeing from him in the past, his hits per nine still sat at a respectable 8.1 while opponents batted just .239. According to the Phillies MLB prospect page he was their #14 prospect last season:
Some pitching prospects are more stuff than results. Rodriguez is kind of the opposite, using average stuff to rack up strikeouts and get batters out. His fastball can be up to 93 mph, though not consistently, and his secondary offerings still need polish. But it’s hard to argue with the results, as Rodriguez led the Phillies system in wins (16) and ERA (2.76) in 2011. The organization tested him with a promotion to Double-A in 2012, a very good challenge to measure his prospect status, and though the strikeouts stayed high, he did let a lot more runs cross the plate.
Twins Interim GM Jesse Lund believes that both pitchers bring something to the system.
"Pettibone will probably start the year in Rochester, but provided he continues to be effective he's certainly a possibility for the rotation before the end of the season. We'll see how he adjusts, but we also want to do what's best for him in terms of his development.
"With Rodriguez, we'd like to start him in double-A to start the season, but I'm hoping he adjusts to that level in his second stint there, and hopefully we can have him in Rochester by the end of the season. The numbers are certainly there, but we need to test him against stiff competition before we decide where we want him to be in terms of the rotation or bullpen. I think he can be a starter. We'll see how polished he is."