By: Austin Jones
After the 2019 MLB season the Philadelphia Phillies desperately needed to address their starting rotation. They did exactly that by signing former New York Met Zach Wheeler.
The right handed pitcher inked a 5 year $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. In his spring training debut Wheeler pitched pretty solid besides letting up a two run homerun on a two seam fastball.
Wheeler explained the pitch in a post-game interview and said “It was a decent pitch, but I would have liked it to have been up a little more, more at his hands than his knees where he was able to get extended down there,”
Pitching up in the zone has been a discussion between the Phillies and their pitches for a while now. Wheeler is a power pitch who has registered over 1100 fastballs over 90mph.
The rest of the Phillies starting pitches haven’t had a total of 40 fastballs go over 90mph. What that says is that majority of the staff aren’t power pitchers and like to live down in the zone.
Meanwhile Wheeler likes to live up in the zone and pitch to where the hitter can’t extend his arms and the barrel onto the ball. To note the homerun ball wasn’t a four seam fastball and just a missed pitch. Zach Wheeler will continue to pitch his way and believes it is up to the pitcher to make adjustments to get three out every inning.
It will be interesting to see of the rest of the Phillies pitching staff will try to listen to the Phillies pitching philosophy or rely on their own strengths.