And more from Gelb:
“Pitchers need to pitch,” Thomson said. “I would hate to break camp — and we’ve had a healthy (Aaron) Nola, a healthy (Zack) Wheeler for six weeks — and they break camp at 80 pitches. That’s not what we’re looking for. We’re going to try to get them to a full pitch count so it doesn’t take its toll on the bullpen.”
The Phillies take precise measurements during almost every side bullpen session their starting pitchers throw. They can detect inconsistencies in arm slot, spin and velocity — and even compare it to a baseline for a routine bullpen session, when the intensity is not the same as real game action. Teams are less focused on innings counts as a workload barometer.
Thomson acknowledged the club could go to a six-man rotation at times in 2023; this is something team officials have discussed all offseason. It would have been a consideration even if the Phillies had not advanced to the World Series. The six-man mechanism is a way to keep Painter in the equation for a full big-league season as he continues to adjust to the rigors of pro ball after only one full season in the minors.
Painter will be treated like every other starting pitcher in camp: He’s expected to build his innings under a normal progression.