Who will be the Phillies # 5 starter?
There’s no doubt who the first four will be. Cole Hamels proved himself to be one of the main money pitchers in the MLB last year. Then, there’s Brett Myers who came back with a vengeance after being demoted to the minors in mid-season. There’s ageless Jamie Moyer and Joe the Pitcher — Joe Blanton.
The number five spot, however, is up for grabs.
J. A. Happ, a left-hander who went 2.28 in four starts last year is the favorite. But, Happ will be pushed by veteran Chan Ho Park who has 280 big league starts. There’s also Kyle Kendrick who had a starting role last year before losing it. There’s also a promising youngster in soon to be 22-year-old Carlos Carrasco. Finally, Adam Eaton, who has been dismal since being acquired by the Phillies, who will be given a chance to earn the job.
“It all depends on who does the best job,” said skipper Charlie Manuel.
Carrasco is an interesting young Venezuelan with good stuff. He’s been in the Phillies organization since he was a wiry 16-year-old. Since then, he’s gone from 6-1, 178 pounds to 6-3 and 222. Carrasco was offered a spot on the Venezuelan World Baseball Classic team, but turned it down knowing that he stands a much bigger opportunity to earn the fifth starter spot for the Phillies.
J. A. Happ is a 6-6, 200 pound southpaw who pitched for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs to start the 2008 season. He went 5-6, 3.54 in 1 starts with the Allentown (PA) Triple-A squad. He struck out 104 in 101 2/3 innings pitched. Happ, whose first name is pronounced “Jay,” made his first start on July 4th when Myers was sent down to the minors. He pitched 4 2/3 innings and earned a no decision in the Phillies 3-2 victory over Johan Santana and the Mets.