The Philadelphia Phillies have high expectations for the 2024 season. Adding another starting pitcher or two, however, wouldn't be a bad idea. They reportedly tried to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto before he agreed to a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, while free agent starting pitchers Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery could be options for the ball club. However, one prospect in the team's farm system may also be an option.

Andrew Painter received all of the attention last spring before he suffered an unfortunate injury. Painter, who was the Phillies' top prospect in 2023, still has a bright future but is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Phillies' 2023 No. 2 prospect Mick Abel is healthy and recently pitched against the New York Yankees in a spring training game. Abel, 22, struck out two hitters and did not allow a run in his one inning of work. He has a bright future as well and could impact the Phillies' starting rotation in 2024.

But could Abel open the season with the big league club?

Phillies' starting pitching rotation heading into 2024

Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola will lead the rotation once again. Ranger Suarez and Taijuan Walker will also be in the rotation. However, the No. 5 spot is up for grabs.

Cristopher Sanchez, Kolby Allard, Max Castillo, and Spencer Turnbull are listed on the team's depth chart, according to However, signing Snell or Montgomery would likely still appeal to the Phillies.

If Mick Abel can impress this spring and neither pitcher is signed, then perhaps Philadelphia will consider giving Abel an opportunity. The odds are still slim and there's no rush to promote Abel to the MLB team, but the Phillies want to give themselves the best opportunity to win.

There is a chance that Abel can convince Philadelphia in spring training that he can be a necessary piece to the puzzle in 2024.

Mick Abel: Next Phillies star?

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Mick Abel (74) throws a pitch against the New York Yankees in the sixth inning at BayCare Ballpark.
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Abel still has holes in his game he needs to address. He's dealt with control issues and recently said he wants to limit walks this season, via Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“Lowering the walks per nine. Objectively, that's my biggest goal,” Abel said. “It's not something I really think about too much, it just comes with command and conviction over the plate.”

He displayed signs of promise in his one inning of work against the Yankees. It's just one inning, so Abel still has more work to do without question. It was a good start, though.

Jim Callis, Sam Dykstra, and Jonathan Mayo wrote an article on before spring training listing one prospect to watch for each MLB team. Abel was listed as the Phillies' prospect to keep tabs on.

“Looking to keep winning now, the Phillies have a veteran-laden rotation,” the article reads. “But how often does a starting five stay intact all year? Just 22 for most of the 2023 season, Abel already touched Tripole-A at the end of last year. That’s likely where he’ll start the 2024 season, but he’ll get the chance in Clearwater to make a nice impression on the big league staff to be the first one up should the need arise.”

It's important to note that the article states Abel will “likely” begin the season in the minor leagues. The fact that Abel's chances weren't ruled out is important.

Mick Abel certainly has sneaky odds to make the Phillies' starting pitching rotation.

How good will Mick Abel be in the big leagues?

Abel is known for his fastball. He throws a curveball, slider and changeup as well. Scouts seem to believe in Abel's breaking stuff, while his fastball obviously stands out. The question is whether he can improve his command.

Many hard-throwing young pitchers struggle with control. Trying to command anything over 95 MPH is not an easy task to accomplish. Phillies fans should be encouraged to hear that Abel's primary goal is to work on the command of his pitches.

So will Abel actually make the Phillies' roster out of spring training?

If Philadelphia's current rotation remains healthy then Abel will likely start the 2024 campaign at Triple-A. If he finds a way to dominate throughout the spring and Philadelphia's other No. 5 candidates for the rotation struggle, then perhaps he can sneak onto the MLB roster. With that being said, the Phillies will not rush him to the big league club.

Whether he opens the season in Philadelphia or in the minor leagues, Abel will be a pitcher worth keeping an eye on this spring. He could become Philadelphia's next star pitcher someday.