The Race Is On: Part II
Kyle Kendrick still has to make his first start since Rich Dubee announced the race is on for the fifth spot in the Phillies rotation. But first impressions are that Chan Ho Park and J.A. Happ have taken the early lead with Kendrick and Carlos Carrasco behind them.
Carrasco allowed six hits and five runs (three earned runs) in two innings today in a 7-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Champion Field. Carrasco is 1-1 with a 7.71 ERA in three Grapefruit League appearances.
Carrasco seems to be showing his inexperience. He didn’t trust his curveball in his previous start last Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays at Dunedin Stadium. He didn’t trust his fastball today against the Braves. Carrasco’s fastball hovered around 90 to 91 mph when Dubee visited him on the mound. Dubee told Carrasco that it looked like he didn’t trust his fastball.
Carrasco’s next fastball was 95 mph.
“We’ve got areas we’ve got to grow in, no doubt about that,” Dubee said.
But can Carrasco grow up fast enough to win this job? Entering spring training, I thought Carrasco would have to blow away Park, Happ and Kendrick to earn the final spot in the rotation. Why? Because he’s just 21 and the Phillies wouldn’t consider it a tragedy to have him gain more experience in triple-A Lehigh Valley. Park and Happ are off to good starts, and Kendrick has a chance to redeem himself after he lost his cool Thursday against Team USA. There is still plenty of time for Carrasco to dazzle, but so far Park and Happ have looked the best.