Last Thursday the Philadelphia Phillies placed pitching prospect Jesse Biddle on the temporarily inactive list. Biddle has been struggling on the mound in Double A Reading and everyone concerned thought it was best to give him a break, shut him down and hope he can rebound after some time away.
Biddle has said that, “Nothing feels fluid on the mound, nothing feels natural,” and that he is miserable when pitching. His numbers back him up as he is currently 3-9 in 15 starts with a 5.03 ERA at a time when he should be getting ready to move up to Triple A. Something is obviously wrong and that was why Ruben Amaro Jr. made the call to put him on the inactive list.
What is so worrisome about the situation is that this is yet another prospect that Amaro Jr. had a hand in selecting that the team is having issues with. Recently the team let Tyson Gillies go after coming to the conclusion that he just wasn’t going to work out after significant time in the Phillies’ farm system. And there is no one in the Phillies system yet ready to make a move to the big leagues, with hot prospect Maikel Franco also struggling since arriving in Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Is this the first signs of a trend? There have been questions before about Amaro Jr.’s skills in evaluating talent. Everyone agrees the original Cliff Lee trade was a disaster that was a bust for the Phillies and now two minor league prospects the team was depending on for the future are having issues. Should everyone be holding their collective breath waiting for problems to creep up concerning shortstop J.P. Crawford?
Fans have openly wondered if Amaro Jr. is the right man to head a rebuild of the Phillies after this season. Considering how some of the trades he has been involved in have worked out (the original Lee deal, the Hunter Pence trade) you have to start to wonder if they may be right.