July 2, 2009 12:48 AM

Bunts and Balks (7/1)

MLB: OCT 13 National Legaue Championship Series Game 4 - Phillies at Dodgers

The Phillies announced that Lehigh Valley (AAA) starting pitcher Rodrigo Lopez will be recalled for Friday night's start against the New York Mets. The Phillies chose "experience" over "skill", at least for Friday's start. Lopez has pitched well recently, and the Phillies wanted to see how the veteran (of thirty-three years on the planet, including seven in MLB) northpaw would do at the MLB level. Before TJ surgery in 2007, Lopez had a 4.42 ERA/1.31 WHIP with Colorado. Lopez would have to pass waivers to return to AAA, so he'll likely be given a few starts for the P-Phils, before they decide whether he is rotation-worthy. (He may be able to stick as a reliever, also.)
Carlos Carrasco certainly has more upside, and the potential to be a top-of-the-rotation starter, but the Phils opted not to recall him. Yet. Perhaps they wanted to protect his delicate psyche? Perhaps they wanted to protect his trade value, which could decrease with some struggles at the MLB level? Perhaps they want to give him more AAA time, to work on his slider?
I think Carrasco should have been given the start. (Lopez could be promoted as a long reliever/spot starter to get some MLB time, at the expense of the roster spot of Jack Taschner (or Paul Bako)).
The Phillies have not yet announced who will lose their P-Phils roster spot to Carrasco.
Probably Sergio Escalona, again? (But, hopefully, Jack Taschner or Paul Bako.)

Jimmy Rollins went 0 for 3 Wednesday, decreasing his average to .205. Going 0 for 27 tends to have an adverse effect on batting averages. Going 6 for 55, isn't helpful, either. Still better than Bruntlett...

Paul Bako started behind the plate on Wednesday night. Charlie Manuel said something to the extent of "he's on the roster, I have to use him", when asked about Bako's inclusion in the starting lineup. I'm sure Phillies' starter Cole Hamels appreciated that logic.

Scott Eyre pitched for Reading (AA) in a rehab appearance on Wednesday night. Eyre, on a pitch limit of 25, allowed a home run to the first batter he faced. When he departed, having hit his pitch count, the bases were loaded, with two out. Kyle Drabek got out of the jam unscathed, and Eyre was only charged with one run, on two hits and a walk.

Raul Ibanez was expected to make a rehab appearance for Reading, but did not. Ibanez took batting practice, and is expected to play Thursday. Looks like he will be out for the entirety of the Mets' series...

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA) did not have a game scheduled for Wednesday.
The FeHogs face the Syracuse Chiefs on Thursday night, with Carlos Carrasco slated to start.

The Reading Phillies (AA) trailed 4-0 going into the bottom of the second, but came back to beat the Altoona Curve, 8-6. Reading scored six runs in the bottom of the second, two on a Michael Taylor home run. Taylor was 2 for 4, improving his average to .350. 1B Kevin Mahar (.312) had two hits, as did C Tuffy Gosewisch (.244).
Pitcher Kyle Drabek went 3 for 3, improving his batting average to .625. Drabek also kept his winning percentage at 1.000, with his fifth win. Drabek, pitching in relief of the rehabbing Eyre, pitched six and one-third innings, surrendering three runs (seven hits, three walks/four strikeouts). All three of the runs came in the second inning, perhaps pitching in relief adversely affected his routine?
Tyson Brummett pitched in relief, again. It appears that he has lost his rotation spot to Yohan Flande.

The R-Phils had four players chosen to appear in the All-Star game. LHP Joe Savery, RHP Vance Worley, 3B Neil Sellers, and OF Michael Taylor will all travel to historic Trenton, N.J. for the Mid-Summer Classic on July 15th. Kyle Drabek's performance at the AA level might have made him worthy of inclusion, but he has only pitched 40 innings for Reading.
Drabek's next All-Star appearance will likely be in 2010, for Lehigh Valley.

The Clearwater Threshers swept a doubleheader from the Palm Beach Cardinals, winning 2-1 (seven innings), and 7-1 (six innings). Drew Naylor pitched seven strong innings in the opener, permitting a run on only four hits (zero walks/six strikeouts). Michael Galen Cisco surrendered only an unearned run in the second game, pitching five innings (four hits, one walk/three strikeouts).

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