In a somewhat surprising move, the Phillies announced that Griff McGarry has been promoted to Lehigh Valley, now one step closer to making his big league debut this season.
The mystery isn’t so much in why he was promoted. That’s been in the tea leaves for some time now. Rather, the mystery is why they didn’t just promote him to Philadelphia instead. Looking at it from all angles, there might be a few reasons.
- They’re giving all of the options currently on their roster, relievers and starters alike, one more chance to get themselves together before McGarry is called upon. It’s been speculated that when McGarry does arrive, he’d possibly be in a piggyback situation with either Ranger Suarez or Noah Syndergaard. The upcoming series against the Marlins and Nationals provides both starters with a chance to get their bearings against lineups that aren’t exactly among the National League’s elite.
- With the series just mentioned, maybe the team doesn’t want other teams getting a look at him against major league competition just yet. This is a little of the deep state thinking since there is so much more available information to teams from the minor leagues than there ever has been. They don’t need to see him in the majors to see what his spin rate is, how his slider works against hitters, etc. since they can already do that with internal video. Seeing how it plays up close against major league hitters is another data point that maybe the Phillies don’t want to tip their hand with. It’s possible that when they see the better teams in Atlanta and Toronto, they’d rather McGarry go in fresh.
- They want him to see better minor league competition first before making that last ascent to Philadelphia, giving pitchers like Zack Wheeler, Seranthony Dominguez and Zach Eflin time to see how they respond to their various throwing programs. While they await that trio, McGarry can see better hitting and get a feel for what major league hitting is like.
These are all just guesses. The real reason will likely be given in due time, but until then, we can get a little more giddy that one of the top pitching prospects they have is knocking on the door to Philadelphia.