Most people didn’t notice when the Phillies traded for pitcher Michael Plassmeyer in a June exchange of minor leaguers. The lefty was struggling as a starter for the Giants’ AAA team and considering the Phillies would be his fourth organization in as many years, it didn’t seem that he was very well thought of as a prospect.
But Plassmeyer’s season turned around after the trade. In 16 starts at Lehigh Valley, his ERA dropped to 2.85. He pitched so well that he was called up to the majors in August, making his major league debut in an August game against the Reds. In that game, he struck out the first batter he faced on three pitches, en route to 1.1 scoreless innings.
Michael Plassmeyer with a memorable MLB debut. He pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Ranger Suarez. He struck out Austin Romine to leave the bases loaded in the sixth.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 24, 2022
He returned to the minors until a brief stint in the majors at season's end when he started one of the meaningless games against the Astros and had a nice showing.
The stats: 2 games, 7.1 IP, 0-1 W-L, 3.68 ERA, 3.38 FIP, 1.2 BB/9, 8.6 K/9, 0.2 bWAR
Plassmeyer was uncharacteristically wild before the trade but got his walks under control upon reaching the Phillies’ system. He did so well that he was named the International League’s player of the month for August. And he gave notice that the improved performance might be for real when he looked good in his brief time in the majors.
Michael Plassmeyer's last 4 Triple-A starts before traded to @Phillies: 10.71 ERA, 12 BBs, 6 HRs in 15 IP— Tom Housenick (@TomHousenick) October 5, 2022
Since then with @IronPigs and Phils: 17 games, 2.38 ERA, .208 BAA
Getting 1 more outing w/Phils today in regular-season finale
His progression: https://t.co/k823F0zml9
It isn’t clear why Plassmeyer was having such problems with his control before the trade. But there was very little bad after arriving in the Phillies’ system.
Plassmeyer will probably be in the Phillies camp with an outside chance to win the fifth starter job. Bailey Falter is probably the favorite to win that job, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time before more highly touted prospects like Mick Abel and Andrew Painter are called upon. But early in the season, it wouldn’t be shocking if it’s Plassmeyer who gets the call when the Phillies are in need of an additional starter.
It’s tough to assign a grade based on two appearances but considering that teams can always use additional rotation depth, it’s a good thing that Plassmeyer has made himself a possible option.