There has never been a question of Griff McGarry having the stuff to be a top of the rotation starter. It is just a matter of whether or not the Philadelphia Phillies prospect can command his arsenal.
That has been his Achilles’ Heel even in his collegiate days. McGarry lasted until the fifth round in 2021 MLB Draft due to concerns about his command as he walked 42 batters in his 43 innings. He did strike out 69 batters however, with the Phillies taking a chance on his high octane fastball and plus slider and changeup.
Philadelphia Phillies patience with Griff McGarry paying off
A casual look at McGarry’s numbers this season would indicate more of the same. He has a strong 3.09 ERA and a 1.221 WHiP over his 46.2 innings, striking out 63 batters, albeit with 27 walks. However, his 5.2 BB/9 rate is slightly misleading as nine of those walks came over a two game span where he pitched just 5.2 innings. Take those two outings out of the equation, and his 18 walks over 41 innings is a lot more palatable at 3.95 BB/9.
That progression with his command has continued after those two outings. In his four appearances since, McGarry has allowed just five runs on 13 hits and ten walks over 22.1 innings, striking out 32 batters. Six of those walks came in one outing in that span as well. His last appearance may have been the best of his professional career as McGarry struck out ten batters over seven shutout innings, allowing three hits without issuing a walk.
Command issues have been the biggest question with McGarry. If he can throw strikes consistently, he has the stuff to be a true top of the rotation arm. Otherwise, he could be a weapon as a closer going forward. It is just a matter of whether or not he can harness his stuff. If his recent performance is any indication, the Phillies patience is starting to pay off.
There was no guarantee that Griff McGarry would be a part of the Philadelphia Phillies future rotation. His improved command may have changed that thought process.