Tag: Carlos Carrasco

NiceLee done?

This says that the Phillies have “reached agreement with the Indians on a trade that would bring them left-hander Cliff Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco for Class A right-hander Jason Knapp, Class AAA right-hander Carlos Carrasco, shortstop Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson” and that “the deal is pending a review of medical records.”

That would be very good news for the Phillies.

Ben Francisco is a right-handed outfielder who can play all three outfield positions. He turns 28 in October and has a career 261/332/437 line. He’s played regularly for the Indians this year and has posted a 250/336/422 line in 308 at-bats with ten home runs and 13 stolen bases.

He’s hitting 269/383/463 against left-handed pitching this year.

Lefty Cliff Lee turns 31 next month. He won the AL Cy Young in 2008 and is 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.30 ratio in 2009.


Canadian awaken

The Phillies won a game ugly yesterday, but given how badly they’ve been playing this is no time to quibble. Madson and Lidge were both a little shaky at the back of the pen, but good enough to hold on and get the Phils a much-needed series win as the team finally gets a break from interleague play.

They could use it. They are 6-12 against the AL this year after going 4-11 against them in 2008. In Toronto, though, they managed to take two games with the help of a monster series from Werth, who went 6-for-8 and walked five times, and an impressive complete-game shutout from Happ in the middle game that helped the bullpen get some needed rest.

The Phillies are 39-34 on the year after taking two of three from the Blue Jays in Toronto over the weekend. They are in first place in the NL East, 2 1/2 games above the second-place Mets. The Mets are now at .500. The Phils have won two in a row for the first time since June 10-11. They are 4-11 in their last 15 games.

The Phillies lost game one of the series 6-1. Hamels didn’t pitch well and didn’t make it through the fifth. The Phils didn’t get a hit off of Toronto starter Ricky Romero till the seventh and managed just three singles and two walks in the game. A sac fly from Werth scored Victorino in the ninth for the only Phillies run.

Happ threw a complete game shutout in game two and the Phils rolled to a 10-0 win. The Phils jumped out to a big lead early with four runs in the first. Werth had a huge day, going 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs and three RBI. Happ was fantastic, throwing the first complete game of his career and holding the Blue Jays to four singles and a double without walking a batter.

The Phils pulled out a 5-4 yesterday in the final game of the set. Moyer gave up two homers early to put the Phillies down 3-0 before they scored a run in the top of the third. Moyer allowed another homer in the bottom of the third, the second of the game by Aaron Hill. A two-run triple by Utley keyed a four-run fourth that put the Phils up 5-4. Moyer only went five, but the pen gave the Phils four innings of scoreless relief including a shaky one from Lidge to earn his first save since returning from the DL.

The Phillies pitched well in the series. In 26 innings they threw to a 3.46 ERA and a 1.19 ratio. The only home runs they allowed were the three that Moyer gave up yesterday.

Hamels and Moyer didn’t have good starts, but Happ made the numbers for the starting pitchers good overall. As a group the three pitched to a 3.86 ERA and a 1.18 ratio over 18 2/3 innings.

Hamels started game one and allowed four runs over 4 2/3 innings on eight hits and two walks. He was ejected from the game as he walked off the mound with two outs in the fifth and men on first and third.

Happ was fantastic in the second game. Complete game, five hits, no walks, four strikeouts and needed just 100 pitches to do it. Just a great outing, but it’s especially nice to see him not walking anyone after issuing ten walks over 11 2/3 innings in his two previous starts.

Moyer allowed four runs over five innings in game three. All four of the runs scored on the three homers he gave up in the game. He has a 6.05 ERA after 15 starts.

The relievers threw 7 1/3 innings in the series, throwing to a 2.45 ERA and a 1.23 ratio. They didn’t allow a home run. They gave up just four hits but walked five, which is too many. Both of the runs they allowed were charged to Lidge in game one.

Romero came into the bottom of the eighth in game one with the bases loaded, the Phils down 5-0 and one out. He walked the first man he faced, forcing in a run, but got Aaron Hill to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Taschner did not pitch in the series.

Durbin did not pitch in the series.

Park came into game one in the bottom of the fifth with two outs, men on first and third and the Phils down 4-0. Alex Rios was the first man he faced and Rios smashed a ball back and off the knee of Park. Park threw the ball to first to end the inning, but then collapsed in pain. Walker started the sixth.

He was able to go again in game three. He entered to start the bottom of the sixth with a 5-4 lead and threw two perfect innings.

He has allowed just one home run since the end of April and none on the season while pitching in relief (14 appearances).

Walker started the sixth inning of game one with the Phillies down 4-0. He pitched a perfect sixth and a perfect seventh.

Madson started the eighth inning yesterday with a 5-4 lead. He allowed a one-out single that was followed by a Bruntlett error that put men on first and second. He got the next hitter on a ground out that moved the runners to second and third, then walked Lyle Overbay intentionally to load the bases. He got Russ Adams to pop out to the infield to end the inning.

Lidge started the eighth inning of game one with the Phils down 4-0, making his first appearance since June 6. The first four men he faced reached base on a double, two walks and a single. He left with one out and the bases loaded, the Phillies down 5-0.

He got the save yesterday with a little help from some terrible base-running by Toronto. He started the bottom of the ninth with a 5-4 lead and gave up a single and a walk to start the inning. He got a popup for the first out. With one out and men on first and second, John McDonald was then picked off of second and throw out at third for the second out. Wells grounded to short for the third out.

Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row, thanks to Happ’s outing in game two, and the Phils don’t play today. So the pen should be well-rested for Atlanta.

The Phillies scored 16 runs in the three-game set.

Victorino was 2-for-11 with two singles in the series. He walked twice and struck out five times. He’s hitting 296/363/446 on the season. Just two home runs in his 210 at-bats since the end of April.

Utley was 4-for-11 with a double, a triple and three walks in the series. 302/433/558 for the season.

Werth was 6-for-8 with a double, two home runs and five walks in the series to raise his line for the year to 271/364/494.

Howard was 4-for-13 with four singles and a walk in the series. 256/330/540 for the season. He’s hitting .237 and on-basing .312 for the month.

Mayberry started in left in all three games and went 0-for-12 with seven strikeouts. He’s at 216/256/514 for the year.

Feliz is hitting 287/331/407 on the year after going 3-for-12 with a double and a home run in the series. He also drew a walk in yesterday’s game. It was his second walk in June.

Coste was the DH in all three games. 3-for-8 with two walks. 253/351/394.

Bruntlett started at short in all three games in the series. He made a big error in the eighth inning of game three, but Madson pitched around it. He went 1-for-11 with a single, dropping his line on the year to an ugly 136/211/197.

Ruiz was 3-for-11 with three RBI in the set. He’s hitting 250/357/389 for the year and will probably enjoy the day off today after catching six games in a row.

Rollins did not play in the series and is having an atrocious year. He is outhitting Bruntlett pretty significantly, though.

Stairs didn’t see much action with Toronto throwing three lefties in the series. He went 1-for-2 with a single and is hitting 296/433/500 for the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-1 and is at 230/284/419 on the season.

Bako is a pretty bad use of a roster spot if you’re going to let Ruiz catch six days in a row. He has been with the team since June 9 and has gotten three at-bats in which he’s gone 1-for-3. I’d guess he’ll lose his roster spot soon with the Phillies mercifully not needing to use Coste as their DH.

This says JC Romero was involved in an incident with a fan in Florida.

This says Carlos Carrasco may pitch Thursday in Atlanta.

Scott Eyre was eligible to come off of the DL on Saturday. Didn’t.


JA better Happ to it if he wants to keep pace with Park

Chan Ho Park and Happ have both been great this spring. As good as they’ve both been, though, Park has outpitched Happ and deserves to be the fifth starter based on what’s gone on so far.

Happ has thrown to an impressive 3.15 ERA with a 1.20 ratio in 20 innings. Park, though, has thrown to a 2.87 ERA with an 0.96 ratio in 15 2/3 innings. Here’s what their rates of allowing runs, hits, walks, strikeouts and home runs per nine innings have been this spring:

parkhapp.jpg

Park and his 18-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio is just impressive. Happ, meanwhile, has given up four home runs in 20 innings. That rate would have him giving up 40 over 200 innings, which is too many. Park has allowed just one home run and also allowed runs and hits at a lower rate while walking fewer and striking out more.

Today the Yankees pounded the Phils 10-2. The Phillies are 10-13 in spring training.

Carrasco got the start and was hit hard. He went five innings and allowed four runs on six hits and a walk. His spring ERA is 5.95. Eyre got bombed in the eighth, allowing five runs in the inning. He gave up five hits, including home runs to Nick Swisher and Melky Cabrera. Koplove tossed a perfect ninth to drop his spring ERA to 1.23.

Utley and Howard hit solo home runs to account for the Phillies scoring. Cairo, Ozuna and Mayberry all went 0-for-1 in the game. Stairs was 1-for-4 with a double to raise his average to .231. Paulino was also 1-for-4 with a double, he’s hitting .194.

The Phillies play Houston tomorrow.

Update 3/27: The Phillies fell to the Astros this afternoon, losing 6-5. The Phils are 10-14 this spring.

Myers got the start and allowed four runs over 5 1/3 innings on eight hits and a walk. The outing raised his ERA on the spring to 3.79. Robert Mosebach allowed a pair of runs in the eighth to puff his ERA to 9.39.

Werth and Stairs both hit solo homers for the Phils. Mayberry, Ozuna and Cairo were all 0-for-2. Giles 0-for-1. Coste 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and an RBI, dropping his average to .095.

Happ is scheduled to pitch tomorrow as the Phils face the Pirates.

The next update to Philliesflow will be on Tuesday.


38 special?

As ugly as things were for Kyle Kendrick last year, I still think he has a good shot to beat out Chan Ho Park, JA Happ and Carlos Carrasco and win the fifth starter’s job this spring. A big part of the reason I think so is the simple fact that the Phils win games when Kendrick pitches. Over the past two years they’ve won about as often with Kendrick on the mound as they have with Cole Hamels on the mound (Hamels has him nipped, but not by much).

As a group, the seven pitchers below have combined to go 157-120 over the past two years (a .567 winning percentage). The Phils as a team have gone 181-143 (.559). The group of seven has made about 85.5% of the starts.

Here’s the Phillies record in games started by the seven pitchers over the past two seasons:

 
2007

2008

Total
 
Player W L W L W L PCT
Myers 0 3 12 18 12 21 .364
Hamels 19 9 19 14 38 23 .623
Eaton 15 15 8 11 23 26 .469
Moyer 18 15 22 11 40 26 .606
Kendrick 13 7 18 12 31 19 .620
Happ 0 1 4 0 4 1 .800
Blanton - - 9 4 9 4 .692

Outstanding numbers for Hamels, Moyer and Kendrick. Blanton and Happ have also had good results in fewer starts. Eaton and Myers have both had less luck — the team’s winning percentage in the games that Myers started is particularly low.

Even in his largely miserable 2008 campaign, the Phillies continued to win games with Kendrick on the mound. Their 18-12 mark, a .600 winning percentage, was better both than their winning percentage for the year and in the games that were started by Hamels. In Hamels’ starts in ’08, the Phils went 19-14, a .576 winning percentage.

Notable also when you look at the 2008 numbers is that the Phils went a fantastic 22-11 in Moyer’s 33 starts.

The bad new is that Kendrick isn’t magic. The runs the Phillies scored offensively were not distributed evenly across all the starters — some starters have received far more runs from the offense than others. Here’s how many runs the Phillies have scored in games started by each of the seven pitchers (over the last two years the Phils have scored 1,691 runs in 324 games, about 5.22 runs per game):

Player RS GS RS/GS
Myers 144 33 4.36
Hamels 301 61 4.93
Eaton 225 49 4.59
Moyer 346 66 5.24
Kendrick 307 50 6.14
Happ 22 5 4.40
Blanton 73 13 5.62

Monster offensive production behind Kendrick, but Blanton also had some hitters behind him as well. The 5.24 runs the Phillies have scored in Moyer’s 66 starts over the last two years is very similar to the 5.22 runs per game the Phils have scored overall over the past two seasons.

Hamels, Eaton and Myers all have gotten less runs from the offense than the team averaged. For Myers, the average number of runs scored by the team in games that he started was close to a full run lower than the number of runs they scored overall.

Carlos Ruiz will play for Panama in the World Baseball Classic once again, but check back often.


Better halves

Looking back to last week’s post about the areas where the Phillies improved their pitching last season compared to 2007, one of the areas of improvement is what they did as a group before the All-Star break.

This does not come at as a big shock considering that, in 2007, the Phillies were simply miserable before the All-Star break. It left huge room for improvement and the Phillies improved hugely. In ’07, the Phils had the worst pitching in the National League in the first half the of the year. They went into the break with a 4.91 ERA (16th in the NL), having allowed 463 runs (16th) and 432 earned runs (16th). Their ratio as a team was 1.46, which was second-worst in the league behind the Fish.

Adam Eaton and Freddy Garcia were the biggest culprits in the miserable first half for the Phils in ’07. Eaton made 18 starts in which he threw to a 5.69 ERA with a 1.50 ratio. Garcia tossed to a 5.90 ERA in 11 starts with a 1.60 ratio. That duo can’t take all the blame, though, as the pen was bounced around pretty hard in the first half of ’07 as well.

Here’s what Phillies’ starters and relievers have done before and after the All-Star break in the last two years:

 
Before All-Star break

After All-Star break
  ERA Ratio ERA Ratio
2007 Starters 4.99 1.40 4.80 1.45
2007 Pen 4.85 1.57 4.15 1.42
2008 Starters 4.48 1.38 3.84 1.31
2008 Pen 2.71 1.31 3.94 1.48

In 2008, the Phils put up a fourth-best 3.90 ERA in the NL before the All-Star break, allowing 403 runs, which was also the fourth-best. The starters were better, but not by as much as you might think. Hamels and Moyer both had nice first halves, Hamels made 20 starts and threw to a 3.15 ERA and Moyer made 19 and threw to a 3.95 ERA. But Kendrick was off from his ’07 pace, putting up a 4.47 ERA in his 19 starts before the All-Star game. And despite all the room for improvement that Garcia and Eaton had left from the year before, the Phillies starters didn’t exactly capitalize. Myers struggled terribly in his return to the rotation, making 17 starts with a 5.84 ERA and a 1.56 ratio. Eaton was awful again: 19 first half starts, a 5.71 ERA and a 1.61 ratio.

So while a miserable first half from the Phillies starters opened the door for improvement before the break in 2008, it was largely an outstanding performance by the bullpen in the first half of last season that was responsible for the difference between what the staff did in the two seasons.

Finally, I think it’s also interesting to note the significant drop off of the bullpen performance in the second half of the season in 2008. As a group they pitched about as well as they did in the second half of 2007 (but we much better in 2008 in the playoffs than they had been the second half of the year). As I mentioned in last week’s post, Phillies’ pitching overall allowed runs at about the same rate in the second half as they did in the first half in ’08, but that was in large part because the starting pitchers performed so much better after the break than they had before it. By ERA, the Cubs had the best starting pitching in the NL in 2008. Chicago starters threw to a 3.75 ERA, making them the only team whose starters for the year threw to a lower ERA than the Phillies’ starters pitched to in the second half of 2008.

Carlos Ruiz won’t play in the World Baseball Classic.

This suggests Adam Eaton is not in the mix to win the fifth starter’s job and that the battle will be between Kendrick, Happ, Park and Carlos Carrasco. I would be surprised if Carrasco started the year in the rotation.

Bill Conlin writes about the Phillies battle for fifth starter, giving Park the best chance to win the job, followed by Happ, Carrasco, Kendrick and then Eaton. As long as there’s one lefty in the pen I see Kendrick and Park as the front runners ahead of Happ, with Carrasco as a long shot and Eaton as a really, really long shot.

Utley says his rehab is on schedule and hopes he will be ready for opening day.

This from the middle of last week projects the Phillies’ payroll for ’09.

There’s a new Phillies blog at www.truephan.blogspot.com


Notsuka

Akinori Otsuka had surgery on his right elbow. This says that it will keep him out for the 2008 season. Not a medical professional, but all that seems like it makes it less likely he’ll see much time with the Phils this year.

Jimmy Rollins and Geoff Jenkins may be participating Royce Clayton’s celebrity Poker tournament along with, according to the article, fellow MLB players Luis Gonzalez and Bob Lanier. If Bob Lanier is going to play Major League Baseball he’s got no time to dawdle. On the other hand, if he can pitch even a little bit he’s not somebody the Phillies should dismiss out of hand. Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.

Ricky Bottalico will be part of the Iron Pigs broadcast team.

Article about prospects that could impact the NL East in 2008 here. I don’t think there’s any question that Cameron Maybin is going to be the most exciting of the group to watch. For the Phillies, the article mentions Carrasco, Happ, Golson, Zagurski and Outman. My guess would be the chances of seeing Zagurski, Happ and Outman are much better than the chances that Carrasco or Golson get significant time with the Phils in ’08. Carrasco won’t be 21 until March and even if Eaton struggles hugely I think the Phils will go elsewhere first. Golson has a career .304 on-base percentage in the minor leagues and 153 at-bats above Single-A.

This article says the Mets are not willing to give the Twins the five prospects they want for Johan Santana.


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