The Phillies are potentially in the market to improve their pitching staff for a postseason push, but that's not to say the best option has to join the club via trade. Top pitching prospect Spencer Howard will make his Double-A debut on Friday night, and if things go well over the next month, he could be a meaningful late-season call-up for the Phils.

Howard's start tonight for Reading is on the road in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The Phillies drafted the 22-year-old righty in the second round of the 2017 draft. He's a power pitcher with a lively fastball that routinely sits in the mid-90s complemented by an above-average slider and a curve and changeup. He posted a 3.78 ERA over 23 starts last year with Single-A Clearwater and tossed a no-hitter for the Blue Claws in the South Atlantic League playoffs.

He began this season with Single-A Clearwater and dealt with shoulder fatigue in late-April. He missed all of June before returning to the Threshers' rotation where he posed a 2-1 record over seven starts to go along with a 1.29 ERA. He held opponents to a .162 batting average, posted a 0.69 WHIP, and collected 48 strikeouts over 35 innings.

At a minimum, the next two months are an audition for Howard to potentially enter Spring Training next year with a chance to earn a rotation spot.

It all begins tonight in New Hampshire.
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

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