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Reading rotation will be proving ground for next wave of Phillies prospects

The jump from the Florida State League to the Eastern League is viewed by some Phillies officials as one of the greater challenges for a young player, specifically a young starting pitcher. It is a jump from a pitcher’s league to a hitter’s league. The weather is colder. The stadiums are smaller, the crowds bigger.

“The hitters are better,” lefthander Cole Irvin said. “They’re more patient. The strike zone is a little bit smaller. But it’s supposed to be that way because you’re trying to get ready for the big leagues.”

That is what makes the potential rotation at double-A Reading one of the more fascinating units to follow in 2018.