The Philadelphia Phillies promoted rookie reliever Colton Murray to the major league roster on Saturday. Murray pitched briefly in the majors last year but retains rookie status. He hasn't received much notice outside of Phillies circles, so here's a quick profile with the necessary basics.
A native of the Kansas City metro area, Murray attended the University of Kansas and was a successful relief pitcher over three seasons, with his senior year (2011, 3.79 ERA, 33/15 K/BB in 40 innings) the best of the lot. Drafted in the 11th round by the Phillies, he rose slowly but steadily through the system, with impressive 2014 (2.23 ERA, 77/30 K/BB in 77 innings between High-A and Double-A) and 2015 (2.67, 71/33 K/BB in 78 innings between Double-A and Triple-A) being almost identical. He got a brief big league trial with the Phillies last year, pitching 7.2 innings over eight games, giving up an unattractive 11 hits and seven runs but fanning nine while walking just two.
Colton is listed at 6-0, 195, born April 22nd, 1990. Murray features a fastball in the 90-95 range, generally averaging about 93 though he's been a bit higher this year. He mixes in a curveball in the low-80s and a slider in the upper-80s. His approach is pretty conventional; he relies mostly on the fastball and curve and goes to the slider less often. The fastball looks fairly straight to me and the MLB.com video clip below from last year shows what happens when a hitter gets a hold of one.
However, Murray's breaking pitches have some bite and have been good enough to work against advanced minor league hitters. He did have some moments of success in his brief major league trial last year and when his command is on, he can be effective.
Overall, Murray offers a typical middle relief profile. He's not likely to receive high-leverage innings without a slew of injuries or ineffectiveness from other bullpen options, but if his command steadies he can be a viable 11th man on a big league staff.