Possible Internal Solutions for Phillies Fifth Starter
When the Phillies traded for Roy Halladay it seemed the Philadelphia rotation was shaping up to go Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Happ, and Moyer, but with Moyer's career now in jeopardy because of injury and age, the Phillies lack a fifth starter. Here are a few names you could hear leading up to the start of the 2010 campaign (along with their 2009 Major League stats).
2009: 3-1, 3.42 ERA, 15 K, 9 BB
Kendrick performed fantastically in his rookie season (2007) going 10-4 with 3.87 ERA, good enough for him to finish fifth in rookie of the year voting. The following season however Kendrick struggled at the Major League level going 14-9 with 5.49 ERA, earning him a trip to AAA. Kendrick has remained a work in progress making occasional spot-starts and periodic bullpen appearances for the Phillies. Look for Kendrick to compete for the final rotation spot throughout Spring Training.
2009: 1-0, 11.12 ERA, 5 K, 4 BB
The Phillies' second round pick of 2006 made one spot start for the Phils in 2009. Carpenter struggled against the Nationals going 4.1 innings giving up eight hits and five earned runs. At the AAA level however, Carpenter went 11-6 with an ERA of 3.35. While it's tough to imagine a pitcher with only 6.2 Major League innings under his belt getting the final starter spot out of Spring Training, Carpenter could be a viable option later in the season should anyone land on the disabled list.
2009: 2-3, 6.46 ERA, 19 K, 9 BB
In his first start for the Philadelphia Phillies Bastardo looked impressive against the Padres going six innings giving up only one run and striking out five. He followed that up by going five innings and striking out four in his second start against the Dodgers. From there it snow balled downhill, with Bastardo eventually, with help of injury, falling out of the starting rotation.
Bastardo re-surfaced in the bullpen for the final leg of the season. Bastardo could be an interesting option for the Phillies to consider come Spring Training. Right now Bastardo seems a more reasonable option for the bullpen, being used much like he was in the tail-end of the regular season and the post-season. Don't be surprised however to see Bastardo in the rotation sometime during the 2010 campaign.
2009: Did not pitch in MLB
Scott Mathieson is an interesting story. After pitching a total of 37.1 innings in 2006 going 1-4 with an ERA of 7.47 Mathieson underwent elbow surgery in consecutive years, causing him to miss both the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Mathieson showed the tools of being an effective middle/back of the rotation starter in 2006 but his injuries have certainly made him a question mark for the Phillies.
It's more likely Mathieson will eventually land in the bullpen for the Phillies should he pitch at the Major League level in 2010. It's uncertain if the Phillies would throw Mathieson out for a spot start during the regular season given his injury history, but there's certainly a general curiosity about Mathieson's ability. Don't be surprised to hear his name pop-up during Spring Training.
As of right now Kyle Kendick appears to have the best possibility of landing the fifth and final spot in the Philadelphia Phillies' starting rotation. Kendrick will have to prove to the organization however that he's still capable of putting up similar numbers to those of 2007 and still possesses the ability to get batters out on a consistent basis, something he's struggled with in the past.
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