On Friday night (though it was not announced until Saturday), the KC Royals traded minor league pitcher Mark Peterson to the Philadelphia Phillies. Peterson, who was pitching out of the bullpen for Triple-A Omaha, will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Peterson has been one of my favorites since watching him pitch in 2014 when he was a Carolina League All-Star with High-A Wilmington. In that season, he led the CL in saves with 22 (and had an ERA of just 1.31), despite moving up to Double-A in July.
Peterson, a non-drafted free agent signed out of Radford in 2012, has had his struggles in Triple-A. Outside of that, he has been pretty dominant. In his career, he has a 2.86 ERA over 197 games (totaling 299.1 innings). He has walked 107, struck out 232, and opponents have hit .245 against him.
It may also have to do with the fact that when he is pitching late in games, he is at his best. While with Omaha, he was usually pitching in middle relief.
This season, his ERA is 5.17 in 17 games, but five of the 18 earned runs he had allowed came in one outing back on May 20th (over 3.1 innings).
This is a good move for Peterson, who will be joining a big league team that is in complete rebuild mode with a bad bullpen and coaching staff that do not get along. If he pitches to his capabilities, we could be seeing Peterson in the big leagues by the end of the season (or at least by next season). *Fingers crossed*
Secondly, the move is closer to his North Carolina home (they still have road trips to Durham and Charlotte this season), his wife Morgan, and family. Selfishly, the change of scenery means I can actually see Mark pitch again.
Best of luck Mark! I’ll be rooting for you. And Phillies fans, you are getting a bulldog pitcher who is an even better person.