A pair of injured Class A prospects have used time at the Fall Instructional League to rehab their ailments and grow close to a return to the field. Phillies top 2012 draft choice (40th overall) Shane Watson has been sidelined since July with shoulder inflammation while third baseman Mitch Walding, the team’s fifth round pick in 2011, missed time with a broken rib dating back to the latter portion of August. Neither player will see game action at instructs, but each of them is nearly ready to get back to full baseball activities.
Watson, a righty hurler, has been progressing through a rehab program that included arm slot correction therapy and throwing on flat ground. The 20-year-old is slated to throw his first bullpen session in many weeks this Saturday at the Phils’ training facility in Clearwater, FL. Instructs will wrap up next week and Watson will continue to follow a strict throwing program through the off-season, after he returns home to California.
In 16 starts for the Lakewood BlueClaws this year, Watson sported a 4-6 record along with a 4.75 ERA and a 6.63 K/9 mark.
The lefty batting Walding was initially thought to have a back strain this summer, but further cracked a misdiagnosed fractured rib while going about his normal routine one day in the clubhouse. After spending the past month in Florida rehabbing the injury, the 21-year-old is now throwing and fielding. Walding expects to start hitting in about a week. He’ll get a break of about two weeks, then will be among a group of Phillies minor leaguers to get some time at the Phillies’ winter baseball academy in the Dominican Republic.
Walding, who shines on defense, but struggled through much of the year with Lakewood on offense (.224/.323/.286 line in 115 games) is set to be joined by OF Larry Greene Jr., OF Andrew Pullin, OF Cord Sandberg and infielder Jan Hernandez in the DR.