Mark Appel’s Season Is Over

Pitching: It’s not good for you.

With young pitching being such an integral part of the Phillies current rebuild, it was all but inevitable that the injury bug would be a factor this season. The human arm is not built to endure the stress of pitching and, as a result, pitching injuries are ubiquitous in baseball.

Early indications are (*knock on wood*) Vince Velasquez’s recent health scare was a minor issue which he has already put behind him, but unfortunately the same cannot be said for pitching prospect Mark Appel. At the end of May, Appel was put on the disabled list with a shoulder injury and, according to Matt Gelb of, he has since been diagnosed with an additional elbow injury which ultimately required surgery to remove a bone spur. The 4-6 month projected recovery time means Appel’s season is now over.

A former #1 overall pick, Appel was acquired by the Phillies in the Giles trade which also brought Velasquez, Brett Oberholtzer and minor leaguers Thomas Eshelman and Harold Arauz to the organization. He had superficial success in his first four starts of the season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley posting a 1.64 ERA through 22 innings, but overall inconsistency marred his first eight starts in the Phillies organization. His final 2016 stat line: 38.1 IP, 4.46 ERA, 19.8 K%, 11.6 BB%, 1.57 WHIP.

Needless to say, it’s not the season the Phillies hoped to get out of Mark Appel. Over the winter, the Phillies will need to add him to the 40-man roster if they with to protect him from the Rule 5 draft (in which he would certainly be picked up by another team). As a result he’ll be in Clearwater for big league camp next spring with a (hopefully) clean bill of health as a 25-year-old former top prospect looking to finally make good on his once immense potential.

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