What the Phillies hope will be a future mainstay of their rotation will make his MLB debut at Citizens Bank Park today.

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Top Phillies pitching prospect Spencer Howard will be promoted and start the second game of a doubleheader against the Braves, the team announced Sunday.

To make room for Howard on the 28-man roster, the Phillies optioned Cole Irvin to their alternate training site, and designated Enyel De Los Santos for assignment to open up a spot on the 40-man roster.

Howard, 24, is among the top prospects in the game after putting up a 2.03 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 94 strikeouts across 71 minor league innings last year.

So what can Phillies fans expect to see from Howard?

“He’s a very polished guy with a big arm,” Phillies pitching coach Bryan Price told Phillies.com.

“His fastball is electric, especially against righties, it kind of jumps at you,” third baseman Jean Segura told the Phillies official website. “His command is pretty good. He’s going to be pretty good.”

 

 

The big question is, are the Phillies calling up Howard with the intention of keeping him in the rotation for good.

 

Best-case scenario for Howard and the Phillies, is he goes out there today and makes Joe Girardi have to keep him in the rotation, meaning he can move Vince Velazquez to help the struggling bullpen.

“I think there’s a number of different ways that we could use him, whether it’s starting or relieving,” Girardi said earlier in the week.

According to 97.3 ESPN Phillies insider Frank Klose, Howard will wear No. 48 today.