Reading’s Simon Proving To Be Bullpen Force
By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Phillies have added a significant amount of young of talent into their minor league system the last six weeks with the various trades they’ve made which have moved veteran players. Of course, the Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence deals were the big ones, but in late June the Phillies sent Jim Thome to the Orioles for a pair of minor leaguers. One of those players was right-hander Kyle Simon and he has enjoyed a lot of success since coming into the organization.
A fourth round pick of the Orioles out of the University of Arizona in the 2011 draft, the 21-year-old Simon has split his time since the trade with Single-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading. He’s currently in the R-Phils bullpen and says the deal caught him by surprise, but he is pleased with how things played out.
“They are a great organization to be with and I’m just really excited to play for them,” Simon tells KYW Newsradio. “They make everything very comfortable and just easy to come into and just start pitching.”
But he says getting traded for the first time in his career was an experience for sure.
“It’s really different. It’s kind of like getting drafted all over again. It’s just kind of getting to know new guys and new facilities and new coaches and just working and trying to get up to the bigs.”
Listen to Matt Leon’s interview with Kyle Simon:
This season Simon had been a starter in the Orioles’ organization, going 2-8 in 14 starts for Single-A Frederick with a 3.96 ERA. He’s been exclusively a reliever since the trade and says the transition wasn’t difficult at all.
“I enjoy the bullpen, I just like to go in and throw at ‘em everything I got and get out of as many jams as they put me in and just play the role that I’m put in.”
In 10 games for Clearwater and Reading, Simon has been dominant, going 4-0 with 2 saves and a 1.16 ERA. He has allowed just 13 hits in 23 1/3 innings. Reading manager Dusty Wathan says the big reason for those numbers, a power sinker.
“(He’s a) guy that throws the ball over the plate and says, ‘Here, hit it.’
“Definitely has a power sinker, he’s struck some guys out on his slider. His slider will come along, but right now that power sinker, it’s tough to elevate the ball and it is a joy to watch him throw and see those guys attempt to get it in the air.”
So with both starting and relieving on his resume already, where does Simon think he will end up?
“Wherever they put me I’ll do the job. I like both, so either one is my forte but wherever they put me.”
Simon and Reading continue a series in Trenton on Wednesday afternoon.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.