The Phillies will enter the final full week of the 2020 season looking for a four-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon.
With eight games to play, the Phils are right in the thick of the National League playoff race. Every game is vital to their postseason chances.
It’s not the ideal time for a team to send a rookie pitcher to the mound for his major league debut, but with injuries and doubleheaders stacking up, this is the situation the Phillies are in.
After Saturday night’s 3-1 win, manager Joe Girardi announced that Adonis Medina “was in line” to make Sunday afternoon’s start against the Jays.
Citing some last-minute, 40-man roster functions, Girardi was reluctant to say definitively that the start would go to Medina, but it sure sounded like it would. Medina is on the 40-man roster and the Phils have to lock that down by noon Sunday for reasons of playoff eligibility.
Medina is 23 years old. He hails from the Dominican Republic. He is a lanky right-hander with power stuff. He had been considered one of the Phillies’ better starting pitching prospects for several years before leveling off at Double A in 2019. He went 7-7 with a 4.94 ERA in 19 starts during that season.
Medina was in big-league camp with the Phillies this spring and pitching at the auxiliary camp in Lehigh Valley this summer.
“He's been up to 75-80 pitches, throwing the ball well, throwing his off-speed well, too,” Girardi said. “It's a young man coming up to make his first start and I think anything is possible. I think he's talented. But again, we need to have a little wiggle room with this 40-man roster thing and we need to make sure we're doing the right thing.”
Medina will become the seventh Phillies pitcher to make his big-league debut this season, joining Spencer Howard, JoJo Romero, Ramon Rosso, Connor Brogdon, Garrett Cleavinger and Mauricio Llovera.
Sunday is the Phillies’ final home game of the season and it’s been a big homestand for rookies. On Friday night, Brogdon picked up his first big-league win, Mickey Moniak had his first big-league hit and Rafael Marchan his first big-league homer.
The Phillies would love it if Medina could join the milestone club Sunday.