(Editor’s Note – We’ll have some content from Wednesday’s Phillies Winter Banquet held at Woodlake Country Club that will be rolled out here over the next few days.)
Jonathan Pettibone had made three starts with Triple-A Lehigh Valley when he got “the call” that he had been waiting for his whole life. He was going to the big leagues.
2013 was a special season for the former Phillies 3rd round pick, who made his big league debut on April 22nd, allowing two runs in 5.1 innings against Pittsburgh (he got a no-decision).
“It’s your dream since you were a little boy,” he recalled last week at the Phillies Winter Banquet. “I got to call my dad and my mom and they were able to come out and see me debut the next day.”
He said while he was excited for the call, “I still had to face the Pittsburgh Pirates the next night. You want to celebrate, but really you celebrate your goal and get ready.”
The transition, while obviously significant, was something that Pettibone was prepared for, with help.
“That was my first spring training in big league camp,” he said. And meeting Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels for the first time and watching them in their daily routines was a big help. Then, getting into the same routines as them, you can learn a lot about getting ready for each game you have to start.”
Pettibone made 18 starts with the Phillies and went 5-4 with a 4.04 ERA before a July 28th injury shelved him for the remainder of the season. That injury, a shoulder strain, has been a focus for Pettibone.
“Right now,” he said. “Staying healthy is the most important thing. That put a damper on last season so I think going into camp healthy and staying healthy for 162 games would be huge.”
Fully healthy now, he’s been throwing since December 1st and began on the mound late last week.
Drafted in 2008, Pettibone made major strides with the BlueClaws in 2010. After a 5.29 ERA in the first half, Pettibone had a 2.41 ERA in the second half and won series-clinchers in both rounds of the post-season as the BlueClaws won their second straight SAL title.
“That was my first full season and coming into it I guess I was a little naive, not fully knowing what to expect,” he said. “But around the midway point of the season I turned it around and it took off from there. That whole experience, the first full season, capping it off with the championship, it was great.”