2013 Player Reviews

Phillies Nation Player Review: Jonathan Pettibone

Pettibone was fourth on the Phillies in starts and quality starts in 2013.

There were four Phillies pitchers in 2013 to throw 100 or more innings. The three obvious answers are Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and Kyle Kendrick. The fourth? Jonathan Pettibone.

The 6’6″ Pettibone entered the 2013 season as a 22-year old who had success in Double-A Reading in 2012 (3.30 ERA in 19 starts) and even more success in a late-season call-up to Triple-A Lehigh Valley (2.55 ERA in seven starts) but considered by most to be behind Tyler Cloyd, Ethan Martin and Adam Morgan as a minor league injury call-up. Yet, by April 22, Pettibone was the starting pitcher against the NL Wild Card-winning Pittsburgh Pirates despite posting a 7.71 ERA in three starts with the IronPigs.

Pettibone rewarded the Phillies for their confidence, giving the Phillies 18 starts with a 4.04 ERA, striking a batter and three-quarters for every batter he walked. There were a lot of positives about Pettibone’s performance in 2013: as a 22-year old, Pettibone posted numbers very close to his minor league averages (6.4 K/9 IP in MiLB v. 5.92 in MLB, 1.228 WHIP v. 1.478), confirming the suspicion of prospectors that believed Pettibone, while not having the highest ceiling of any of the Phillies starters, likely has the highest floor.

Pettibone likely would have finished the season in the Phillies rotation had the injury bug not bitten. After giving up three earned runs to eventual ALCS participant Detroit Tigers in five innings on July 28, Pettibone was shut down with an inflamed rotator cuff. Pettibone would attempt two rehab starts, August 15 in Reading and August 20 in Lehigh Valley, before being shut down for the rest of the year with, among other things, bicep tendinitis. Pettibone has been rehabbing in Clearwater with the Florida State Instructional League team, playing catch with Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez according to Bob Brookover.

Grade: B-. Pettibone’s grade stems more from the fact that he was able to keep a sinking ship steady as a 22-year old rather than how his numbers compare to the league average, although it is worth noting that Pettibone had more quality starts than both John Lannan and Roy Halladay. Should Pettibone improve his walk rate to his Minor League averages, there is a very good chance that Pettibone becomes an extremely reliable fourth starter in the Major Leagues.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Bart Shart

    October 14, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Pettibone shows promise. I hope he gets healthy, works on a change-up, curveball, and his control. He should be in the rotation next year as a fourth or fifth starter.

  2. BetaSigmaDeltaShag

    October 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I agree Pettibone would be a good fourth or fifth starter in the majors like mostly young pictures in the organization he needs to work on control and his walks strike out ratio I think you could be a solid fourth fifth starter. The one thing to remember is these kids are 22 years old and with the right coaching can become solid major-league pitchers

  3. bacardipr

    October 14, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    I agree with both of the above posts.

  4. Bob in Bucks

    October 15, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Pettibone does not have overpowering stuff. He may be OK for a while but eventually the league will catch up to him.

    • DavidE

      October 16, 2013 at 12:05 am

      I don’t know why you think he needs overpowering stuff. I don’t see Cliff Lee throwing the ball at 98 MPH and he is very effective. Pettibone has a decent fastball. There are a lot of good pitchers who have a Pettibone type fastball. Location is as important. If power was all that was important, Rosenberg, Aumont and J.C. Ramirez would all be top rate pitchers.

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