Results tagged ‘ Carlos Carrasco ’

Starting Rotation Battle

As Spring Training draws closer, a new Phillies drama is about to
Happ.jpgunfold.  The battle for the 5th spot in the starting rotation.  Let’s meet the contestants:

JA Happ, 26, lefty – This rookie got a taste of the Bigs in 2008, appearing in 8 games and sporting an impressive 3.69 ERA with a 1-0 record.  He also received the benefit of counseling from veteran Jamie Moyer, giving Happ a better idea of how to survive in the Majors.

Kendrick.jpgKyle Kendrick, 24, righty
– After an outstanding rookie season with the Phillies in 2007, this youngster lost his starting spot in 2008 to the above mentioned JA Happ.  His sinker was sunk by late August and memories his 11-9 record and dreadful 5.49 ERA will not help Kendrick in his quest this year to get back on track.

Chan Ho Park, 35, righty – 15 year veteran and newcomer to the Phillies with a fresh $2.5 million dollar one-year deal, Park has chosen to battle for the 5th spot.  He expressed his dedication to winning the job by deciding to pass on the World Baseball Classic this year.  Lifetime ERA is 4.34 with a record of 117-92.

Carlos Carrasco, 21, righty – Oh, to be so young!  And Carrasco’s age is exactly why he is the most unlikely candidate to win this competition.  As the Phillies top pitching prospect, I am betting they will likely leave him in the oven to season a bit longer before trying him out in the Big Show.

So who is missing from this picture?  Adam Eaton.  Yes, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has listed his candidates for this competition and strategically left out Eaton’s name each time.  Despite his huge contract with $8.5 million dollars owed to him, the money issue is now heavily outweighed by the awful performances and, I am betting, his lack of interest in getting back to form.  Look for Eaton to get the boot early; either to another team or he’ll be sent home to veg-out on his couch.

My prediction:  Happ will win the spot.  He is a steady force on the mound with good control and an unwavering personality; Happ works well under pressure.  Kendrick, clearly, does not.  2007 was not hard to handle for Kendrick as the expectations were very low.  It became a whole new ballgame when the pressure was on in 2008.  Carrasco is too young, although he may surprise people, and Park is aging.  Not everyone grows younger with age, like Jamie Moyer.

If all else fails and a decision becomes difficult, the Phillies could put these guys through another sort of testing to decide:

Rubik_cube.pngThe Rubik Cube: the ultimate problem solving nightmare.  Make them all try to solve it.  Whoever breaks down and cries first gets the bat boy job.

– Rock, paper, scissors:  It’s all about strategy.  And you have to know your opponent.  They can even change it up to make it baseball oriented; how about Bat, ball, Ryan Howard’s glove?  Bat beats ball, ball beats Ryan Howard’s glove, and Howard’s glove beats nothing.  If these guys can’t figure out how to win at this game, they do not deserve to be in the Majors. :O)

– Duck, Duck, Goose:  Change it to Phillies, Phillies, Nationals – the Nats are always chasing other teams anyway.  Whoever loses gets traded to the last place Nationals and in exchange, 
they send us Scott Olsen, gagged, bound and dart-board ready. :O)

Twister: but only if I am allowed to participate :O)

Best of luck boys!

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Nothing But Air

Much like the winter season, the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas are creeping along slowly for the Phillies.  A whole lot of hot air and that’s about all.  GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has disclosed that he and his team have met with Derek Lowe and his agent.  That’s the good news.  That bad news is that the other leading suitor for Lowe is the NY Yankees, who have already signed CC Sabathia for 7 years, but seem to still be interested in Lowe.  With the Yankees seemingly unlimited payroll, the Phillies will likely be outbid if this is the case.  Sabathia AND Lowe – that’s just plain greedy!

P4208611 Burrell.jpg
In other news, Pat Burrell’s agent came out and told the Courier Post that he believes the Phillies are not at all interested in retaining Burrell.  Agent Ed Hayes was quoted as saying, “I’m hopeful but I’m also a realist, and I’d be surprised…I have not heard anything that would lead me to believe the club wants to have him back.”  Sad news there for Phillies fans everywhere – the GQ Handsome quotient of the team is about to be significantly lowered.  Nothing has been decided yet, but reports are that Burrell wants three years and there is no way Amaro is going to offer that.  Unless Burrell settles for a 1 or 2 year deal, it looks like he’ll be telling the Phils to stick it and move on.

As for an additional infielder, the Jake Peavy / Mark DeRosa rumors have progressed.  The MLB Hot Stove reports that the trade may involve moving Phillies prospects JA Happ, Jason Donald and/or Carlos Carrasco.  Any combination of these players would wind up going to the Cubs, the moved to the Padres with a few other Cubs in exchange for Peavy.  Is your head spinning yet?  I really do not like the idea of losing young players with big potential.  Is DeRosa worth it?  Last year he hit 20 homers with an average of .285 and 87 RBI’s.  He has a lifetime .976% fielding percentage.  Knowing Burrell was going to be a free agent this year, if they intend to sign DeRosa, based on these numbers, the Phillies may as well have kept Aaron Rowand.  They may have saved some money.  DeRosa will not be cheap and may cost us some great young talent.  I’ll be keeping an ear to the ground to see where this goes.

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Moyer’s Proposal / Trade Rumors

When, oh when, will the losing end?  I don’t know about all of you, but my poor brain hurts.  Ouch!  It does seem that Jamie Moyer had a well laid out plan for this game and was rolling along quite well, in fact.  And really, you can’t blame him at all.  3 runs for Jamie in 6.2 innings having thrown over 100 pitches is quite a feat.  He is amazing.  This offense simply let him down, yet again.  On Sunday afternoon, he even tried helping out Kyle Kendrick to prepare for his next start (which will be tonight) by either, proposing marriage (see photo)
P6222026 moyer kendrick cr.jpg, or what I should better assume is teaching him how to throw a change-up.  This is the one pitch Kyle still seems to have some trouble with.  The two worked on it before the game for over ½ an hour out on the field.  Moyer is such a team player and it really saddens me to see the rest of the team let him down like this.

Obviously, they are not happy about it either.  Having totaled only 6 hits against a very average pitcher last night, the Phillies offense were all left scratching their heads and wondering what has happened to the bats.  Perhaps it is time to pull out a copy of the movie Major League and summon the Spirit of Jobu? I don’t think the actor Dennis Haysbert is getting much work these days besides All-State commercials…maybe he can shave his head again and come play for the Phils?  And here’s a thought…can we try Greg Dobbs, who is batting .347, as the DH instead of Geoff Jenkins who is batting .244?  Hmmm?  And can anyone tell me the last time Carlos Ruiz got a hit?  Or the last time he did NOT hit into a double play when given the chance?  Just a few things that have been BUGGING me…

Sorry, had to vent for a few seconds there J  Ah, back to my happy place…  So, thanks for comments and feedback!  In response to the latest comment on the Shane Victorino trade rumors, here is my take on the situation.  First of all, I love Shane too and would be devastated to see him go, but keep in mind that rumors are rumors and this very same rumor went around last year as well and he is still here.  The trade deadline is not until 7/31/08, so until we are past the All-Star break and closer to that day, I would not panic just yet.  A lot of the talk is because the Phillies are looking to add a pitcher if they want to contend for a World Series title THIS year.  They believe they have they offense, present slump aside, to make it happen and are willing to sacrifice a few “future” possibilities to make it happen.  I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is the right move.  Where Shane falls into that is they are looking to get a pitcher like a CC Sabathia from the Indians, but someone of that caliber will not come cheap.  It would have to be a package deal with say Shane plus a minor league prospect or two.  However, the Phillies have a LOT of really great minor leaguers that may be ready to go THIS year that a team may go for without someone like Shane in the mix.  Carlos Carrasco’s name has been tossed around a lot, as an example.  He would be a big loss to the Phillies system, but not necessarily so if it brings us a World Series Title.  Ya know?

Another thought on this is also that these rumors may be being tossed around to light a fire under both Shane Victorino AND Brett Myers.  Cruel as this may sound, I have heard several media type mention it now.  They are saying that the thought of Myers being “replaced” may force him into getting his act together.  And as for Shane, the idea that he is dispensable and maybe has not performed up to their expectations could get him back on track as well.  We also have the possibility of Kris Benson coming out of rehab in Clearwater soon to think about.  If he can get past all these injuries and prove to be a viable starter, all this trade stuff may go away…  Well, then again, you never can tell J  Whew!  If my brain didn’t hurt before, it sure does now!  How is that for a LOT to absorb at once?  I do hope that helps though.  We will know more as the deadline approaches.  As always, thanks for reading and for your feedback.  Have a great day!