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Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Carrasco’

Posted by at 2:15 pm ET 17 Comments

Son of a bitch. This “rough spell” is like an expanding tar pit and the Phillies are getting stuck in it one by one like sabertooth tigers. I laughed when I saw Chamo’s tag but jesus god that was two weeks ago and it’s still true: DEAR GOD THIS IS BRUTAL.

With the Phillies all of a sudden having one of the farm systems most stacked with future stars, there has been plenty of alternative to watching the Frightenin’ Phils an hour and a half’s drive away in Reading and Allentown. The R-Phils are 45-33, good for second in the Eastern League’s southern division. Their rotation is loaded with Joe Savery, Kyle Drabek and now Yohan Flande, and Michael Taylor is mashing it to the tune of .349/15/59, with 14 stolen bases for good measure.

Up in the Lehigh Valley, the IronPigs are 39-40, trying to push above .500 for the first time in the franchise’s short history. Jason Donald is looking to return from knee surgery and maybe light a fire under J-Roll’s ass. Lou Marson is biding his time as the everyday catcher until Ruben Amaro realizes that two backup catchers in their late 30s should not be on the roster of the defending champions. Drew Carpenter is playing off that one ugly pro start with a 7-1, 2.75. And this guy?

He’s settling in. Carlos Carrasco was the #1 Phillies prospect in 2007 and 2008 according to Baseball America, and this year he’s 2nd, behind only Dominic Brown (who is nursing a fractured pinky in Clearwater).

The 22 year old Venezuelan was, along with JA Happ and Chan Ho Park, one of the finalists for Phillies fifth starter coming out of spring training, and with Antonio Bastardo injured (and probably not going to stay in the rotation anyway), he was strongly considered for a promotion to start tonight’s game against the Mets. His IronPig teammate and former Oriole/Rockie/Padre Rodrigo Lopez got this promotion, though, so Carrasco pushes onward in AAA till he gets the call.

Last night he shut down the Syracuse Chiefs (Nats affiliate) for his fourth straight victory after a glaringly shaky start to his season. The only major mistake he made was hanging one over the plate to former Bucco Brad Eldred, who smoked one into the woods beyond Coca-Cola Park. Otherwise, Carrasco was solid, scattering five other hits and striking out four over six innings, despite getting drilled in the ankle with a line drive. His fastball had good movement and hovered around 93 all night. His run support was good with a five-run outburst in the fourth inning, Miguel Cairo missing a grand slam by about five feet.

As the post-game fireworks were exploding overhead, the feelgood evening came to a screeching halt when we turned on the radio for the drive home, just in time to hear Ryan Madson’s latest meltdown. Goddamn.

beelove (a/k/a R. Bradley Maule) is the proprietor of the fantastic Philadelphia photography/architecture site, He went to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs game. He reported. He took pictures.

Some photos from the evening — IronPigs 5, Chiefs 1 — after the jump.

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Posted by at 10:55 pm ET 24 Comments

CC_747319.jpgAs of May 25 prospect Carlos Carrasco, the much-honored and hyper-hyped right-hander, expected to hurl his change-ups behind Cole Hamels in the 2009 starting rotation, is now 0-6 with a 5.81 ERA for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Of the four pitchers in Lehigh Valley’s rotation with 7 or more starts, Carrasco is the only one without a win. However, he has also struck out the most batters (52), far and away the most of any other pitcher on the IronPigs, with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4:1.

Carrasco has pitched the most innings (48). He has surrendered only 4 home runs, but at the same time Carrasco has allowed 57 hits which is, again, by far the most of any other starting pitcher on the team. Opposing batters are hitting .288 against him.

In Carrasco’s defense, Sunday’s 6-2 loss to the Durham Bulls was not entirely his fault. The IronPigs could muster only two runs during his 6 2/3 innings on the mound, and reliever Sergio Escalona surrendered three of Durham’s six total runs in the ninth inning alone.

So is it a lack of run support? In Carrasco’s nine starts since April 10, the IronPigs have scored more than four runs only once, in a 6-5 loss to Toledo. In his first official loss, coming April 21 against Syracuse, Lehigh Valley scored just once before losing by two. (Carrasco struck out 10 batters in that game.)

Still, a 5.81 ERA does not absolve any pitcher from blame for a winless record. While leading the team in strikeouts and fewest home runs surrendered, Carrasco’s current demise appears to be death by a thousand cuts. Smallball is now his greatest foe. Why gamble and swing for the fences, his opponents might say, when we can methodically single and double our way to victory?

At 16-27 the IronPigs are a struggling team from top to bottom. But Carrasco’s struggles stand out the most because of his prophesized greatness. Only he, and the coaches responsible for his development, can decide if Carrasco is capable of living up to his potential, finally earning his spot behind King Cole in the Phillies’ major-league rotation.

Posted by at 1:26 pm ET 6 Comments


Pack your bags, kid, you’re moving up! To Lehigh Valley, that is. The Inquirer’s Jim Salisbury reports that right-hander Carrasco has been promoted to the triple-AAA* IronPigs. He will be taking the spot in Lehigh Valley’s rotation formerly occupied by Les “I Am The” Walrond (goo goo g’joob), who was called up to fill in for Rudy Seanez. Seanez is currently on the DL after his Thursday night collision with the Nationals’ Lastings Milledge.

Assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle said the organization had been considering promoting Carrasco anyway.

“We feel he’s ready,” Arbuckle said. “We want to see how he handles the challenge.”

Carrasco is rated as the Phillies’ No. 1 prospect by Baseball America. He was 7-7 with a 4.32 ERA in 20 games (19 starts) at double-A Reading.

Carrasco, whom many thought would become trade bait in one of several different deadline scenarios, is projected to be a #3 starter in the major-league rotation when he gets called up to The Show. Adam Eaton, weeping quietly in a dark corner of the IronPigs’ locker room, could not be reached for comment.

(*Yes, that’s right: Triple-AAA. The IronPigs are an AAAAAAAAA team, and I am an idiot. Thank you.)

Posted by at 10:33 am ET 6 Comments


No, not that Fuentes (…I wish). Rumor has it that the Phils want Brian Fuentes, a 32-year-old Rockies lefthander. If acquired, Fuentes would share the relief work with fellow southpaw J.C. Romero. How this would affect the return of Tom Gordon remains to be seen.

Fuentes is 1-4 this year with 14 saves. His price tag for 2008 is just over $5 million, according to Sam Carchidi of the Inquirer. The deal may get quashed, however, depending on whom Colorado demands in exchange. On their wish list is Carlos Carrasco, the 21-year-old Reading prospect who pitched an excellent first inning in yesterday’s All-Star Futures Game.

So far the Phillies have yet to agree on an offer, but it would be a shame to see them trade away a potential starter whom they might need in 2009 later this season.

Posted by at 9:22 am ET 2 Comments

Unbeknownst to me, the Reading Phillies went retro with their road unis this year. They have ditched the normal grey, and are now sporting the extremely attractive powder blues; complete with maroon & white piping down the sides and classic high-sock look as worn by the actual Phillies from ’73-’88

Carlos Carrasco looks like a cot damn professional here:

Click below for more mesmerizing shots of the powders, featuring Neil Sellers and the great Gookie Dawkins.

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R.I.P Harry Kalas