El Dorado News-Times

Phillies’ prospect Painter dazzles with heat in spring debut

- By Will Graves

The stage hardly looked too big for pitcher Andrew Painter.

The hard-throwing Philadelph­ia Phillies prospect's fastball touched 99 mph in his spring training debut against Minnesota on Wednesday. The 19-year-old allowed one run and three hits with a strikeout in two innings, a solid first step as he attempts to crack Philadelph­ia's starting rotation before his 20th birthday on April 10.

The 6-foot-7 Painter showcased a little bit of why the Phillies are so high on him. The 13th overall pick in the 2021 amateur draft nearly reached 100 on the radar gun while facing Carlos Correa in the first inning, though Correa did reach on an infield single.

“You know, (Correa) is pretty good at what he does,” Painter joked with reporters afterward. “So just trying to get by him.”

Painter threw 18 of 29 pitches for strikes and fanned Max Kepler with a 90 mph cutter. He ran into a bit of trouble in the second inning after allowing consecutiv­e singles to Christian Vázquez and Nick Gordon before giving up a run on a sacrifice fly. The game ended in a 4-4 tie.

Phillies catcher Garrett Stubbs praised Painter's poise, which Painter attributed in part to having played at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers while pitching for Philadelph­ia's Class A affiliate last year.

“I felt like we didn't even get to the point where he can probably get to but he did really well,” Stubbs said. "You saw the kind of repertoire. He can spin the ball. He was throwing strikes. Obviously a really good heater and I don't even think today's heater was as good as it normally is. So I think we have even more to see from him.”

Painter sprinted through Philadelph­ia's system in 2022, going 6-2 with a 1.48 ERA in 26 appearance­s spread across two Class A squads and Double-A Reading.


Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale will likely make his Grapefruit League debut next week.

The seven-time All-Star threw 43 pitches over two innings of batting practice on Wednesday. Boston manager Alex Cora told reporters that Sale should be cleared to work two-to-three innings in a game sometime next week.

The 33-year-old Sale was limited to just two starts last year and 11 starts in all since 2020 due to a variety of health issues.

Sale arrived at spring training with no limitation­s, though Boston is taking the left-hander's ramp-up slowly in hopes of

PAIN-FREE LEMAHIEU New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu went 1 for 2 against Washington in his first game since being sidelined last September by a right toe injury.

He singled off the left-field wall in the third, and played four innings at second base. More importantl­y, LeMahieu enjoyed his pain-free at-bats since the middle of last season.

“I'm excited about that,” LeMahieu said. “Excited to keep it going. I've been feeling good, and I expected it to stay that way.”

LeMahieu was limited to 125 regular-season games and missed the playoffs. He finished the season with a .261 batting average, his lowest since 2011.

“It's awesome to see him up,” Yankees leftfielde­r Giancarlo Stanton said. “He's a force for us, and he's a menace for pitchers.”


The Cleveland Guardians are hoping some rest will help highly touted outfield prospect George Valera, who left Tuesday's exhibition with an apparent righthand injury.

Valera, ranked as the No. 2 prospect in Cleveland's organizati­on, was forced to leave during his at-bat in the second inning after fouling off a pitch. He underwent surgery on the same hand during the offseason to repair a hamate bone fracture.

Manager Terry Francona said Valera will receive treatment before the team's medical staff considers any imaging tests.

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