Mark Appel Is Probably Totally Fine, But…

It’s been reported this morning that Mark Appel, former first overall pick of Houston and a key component of the Ken Giles trade late last year, is headed to the 7-Day DL at Lehigh Valley, with what’s being called a “Right Shoulder Strain”. Larry Shenk (@ShenkLarry) of PhilliesInsider.mlblogs.com was first to report the news, as far as I can tell. Appel had been ranked on several industry Top 100 lists this offseason, and was in the Phils’ Top 10 across the board after he arrived.

In his most recent start this past Monday night, Appel only lasted 0.2 innings, and his fastball velocity was reportedly sitting in the high-80s, down from his usual mid-90s. That’s never encouraging. Until Monday, Appel had been having what one would call a fair but inconsistent season at Lehigh Valley, with reports touting both good and bad innings coming pretty much every time he started. He gave up 40 hits and 20 walks and struck out 34 in 38.1 IP. It’s been noted that he’s struggled mightily out of the stretch, which doesn’t necessarily bode well for his supposed reliever floor. Though neither does “Right Shoulder Strain” bode well for his floor of “being able to pitch professionally”, if I’m being honest. The severity of the injury is not yet known, and any speculation about surgery would be unreasonable at this time, but generally shoulder injuries are, let’s just say, “bad”. Very descriptive, I know. Normally I’d try to make a joke here, but in addition to being “bad”, shoulder injuries are also more “sad” than “funny”. Why couldn’t Mark Appel just have a UTI, ya know?

Anyway, RHP Ben Lively has been called up to AAA from Reading to take Appel’s spot. He’s been having a lot of success in his third year at AA, striking out batters at a much better rate than last year (23.8%) while keeping his walk rate around 7%, and holding an excellent WHIP of 0.94. A promotion was certainly warranted, injury or not.

And so, to close, I’d like us to all take a moment right now to just be sad about arms…

…yeah, that was useful. I feel like we needed that. Good talk, everyone.

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6 comments

  1. Romus

    May 27, 2016 03:14 PM

    Hopefully there is no labrum issues involved.
    On the safe side, I have to assume he will be 2 or 3 weeks before he resumes throwing again..

  2. Gil

    May 27, 2016 06:24 PM

    Strain sounds better than possible tear. There’s that.

  3. BobSmith77

    May 27, 2016 11:48 PM

    Trading for the ‘name’ because of the concerns about Velasquez’s health instead of taking Fisher is going to turn out to be a real mistake.

    • Romus

      May 28, 2016 08:02 AM

      Between Williams and Fisher prefer Williams.
      Fisher is strictly a LFer at this point going forward, since his arm is below average, and from the plate his Krate in AA is approx. 25%.
      Though, he has power and strength, he will need to have more plate discipline.

    • Eddie

      May 29, 2016 08:50 AM

      On the other hand, trading Giles for Velasquez is looking like a brilliant choice. Win some, lose some.

      • Romus

        May 29, 2016 01:42 PM

        Plus RHPs Eshelman and Arauz may end up being nice players down the road in 2/3 years. Both are doing 55 grade work at CLW and Lakewood respectively. They could someday certainly be legitimate #4 or 5s in any MLB rotation.

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