Lucas Giolito is like “Belvedere Vodka—Top Shelf” says former GM Steve Phillips

Former Mets GM Steve Phillips was in Viera Florida yesterday on assignment for MLB Network Radio Sirius/XM for his show ‘The Leadoff Spot’ which airs weekdays from 7am-10am EST . While he was there, Phillips was able to watch part of the intra-squad Nats scrimmage.

Photo for by Donna Klinger

Photo for by Donna Klinger

As the new pitcher entered the game, Phillips just saw the large framed pitcher warming up wearing the #44 jersey. Phillips got bright-eyed against the sunshine when he saw 44’s warm-up fastball.

Phillips claimed that at first, he did not know that the pitcher with the #44 jersey warming up, was Lucas Giolito. It would be best to hear how animated Steve Phillips was in describing what he saw, and you will need a subscription the MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM to hear it on-demand, but here is a transcription of the morning discussion between Steve Phillips and his co-host Todd Hollandsworth in the 8:30am segment as they discussed the large framed pitcher warming up as Phillips said, “Huhhhhhh, who is this guy?” Then he saw his name—GIOLITO. “WOOOOOOOOOOW”, Phillips exclaimed.

Phillips gave additional analysis and commentary on Giolito, “The angles on his fastball, the downhill power—just domination. Then he broke off a hook that my bowels locked like nobody is going to hit this thing. [Hollandsworth and Phillips laughed]. “Ohhhhh Nationals fans. He is un-be-lieve-able! Elite stuff. Top level. Top shelf stuff. Belvedere Vodka of pitching.”

Photo for TalkNats by Laura Peebles.

Photo for TalkNats by Laura Peebles.

Phillips continued his thoughts that we’ve previously discussed (see chart below) here that there will be an innings limit for Giolito based on Rizzo’s data. We’ve thought 140 innings made sense for an inning limit based on a 20% increase over 2015; however, Giolito did go to Fall Instructs and threw there, and quite possibly those innings would factor into how the Nats pitch Giolito in 2016. Phillips didn’t know the limit, and also thought Giolito could stay in Viera longer to save innings as we’ve previously suggested, and then report to Harrisburg later in the season for Double-A.

Steve Phillips, “They want [Giolito] in October.”

Giolito Projected Innings

We wrote on February 13th, “Lucas Giolito can also find himself as an integral piece of the Washington Nationals 2016 team which would make a delayed start to Giolito’s season, like the Nats did with his 2015 season, a potentially wise move that could make sense. Giolito didn’t make his 1st of the 2015 season until May 8th of 2015 when Giolito pitched at Single-A Potomac . That allowed Giolito to pitch until the end of the season when he was promoted to the Double-A Harrisburg Senators.”

Later in the afternoon, Phillips phoned in to talk about Dusty Baker and again spoke some more about Giolito which you can hear on this link and this time said, “a bowel-locking breaking ball” [Editor’s note: Caution on a Google search for Bowel-locking]:

Belvedere Vodka could be Steve Phillips favorite vodka, and you have to wonder if Luc Giolito has ever been likened to Belvedere before. We can just add ‘Mr. Belvedere’ to nicknames like Gio Grandé, Cake Bo$$, and Baker’s Man.


Given the many nicknames that could fit Luc Giolito, many seemed to fit his new fancy for baking deserts in the apartment he shares with Nick Lee and Spencer Kieboom. If Giolito helps this 2016 Nats team, he will definitely be Baker’s Man!

If you want to see what Phillips refers to as ‘bowel-locking’, watch this video!

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