SP - PHI - MiLB
Phillies pitching prospect Spencer Howard is serving as the team's 27th man for Tuesday's doubleheader against the Mets.
The plan is for Howard to function as a reliever this year. The young starter is still looking to build up his arm strength after a couple of injury plagued seasons so far. Howard will be making his 2021 debut if he winds up pitching today.
Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski spoke to the media on Saturday and revealed that the team is not viewing young pitcher Spencer Howard as a traditional starter for the 2021 season. Dombrowski cited concerns about the young righty's workload, saying, "He’s healthy. The other day he threw great. But we’re going to increase his innings, and we have a limit there in our own minds." Howard was optioned to Triple-A on Friday.
Dombrowski added that the team believes Howard is ready to pitch in the big leagues and envisions a bullpen role for him this season. He could serve as an opener or a bulk reliever at times in 2021, which significantly reduces his value in most formats. He is still worth rostering in dynasty and keeper formats, but fantasy managers in redraft leagues are better off looking elsewhere given what the Phillies revealed about his role for this season on Saturday.
Spencer Howard has been optioned to Triple A. Howard had been dealing with a back injury, and not pitched over the past week.
Howard will need some additional time to ramp up his pitch count as he works his way back from his injury. However, he is (at worst) the fourth-most talented starter that the Phillies have, so he should be back with the big-league team sooner rather than later. He doesn't need to be drafted in standard 12-team leagues, but could be worth a late-round dart throw in NL-only or 15-team leagues.
Phillies starting pitcher Spencer Howard (back spasms) is not pitching in the next couple of days.
As a result of Howard's injury news, Ivan Nova will start Friday against the Yankees. Howard earned 23 strikeouts in 24.1 innings pitched during the 2020 season.
Spencer Howard was scratched from his scheduled appearance Monday with back spasms.
Howard was slated to go 2 innings against the Yankees on Monday, but will not appear due to back spasms. Howard has not dealt with back spasms before, so this injury is likely not overly serious. The Phillies will likely provide a more detailed timetable for Howard Monday night or Tuesday.