From 1975-1978, righty starting pitcher Larry Christenson won at least 10 games for the Philadelphia Phillies in each season. His best season for the Phillies came back in 1977. He pitched in 34 games (all starts) for the Phillies in 1977 and he was 19-6 with a 4.06 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. Christenson pitched in 243 games (220 starts) in his 11 years with the Phillies and he was 83-71 with 4 saves, a 3.79 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Christenson is still #7 in Phillies’ history in games started with 220 of them. He was a good #2 starter for a few years behind the legendary lefty Steve Carlton.
The Phillies have signed 31-year old righty starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano to a minor league deal. He pitched in 35 games (20 starts) for the Marlins last year and he was 7-10 with a 4.49 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Zambrano has now pitched in 354 games (302 starts) in his first 12 years in the majors and he is 132-91 with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Zambrano has a July 1st opt out date in his minor league deal with the Phillies. This is a nice low risk/high reward signing for the Phillies.
32-year old righty closer Jonathan Papelbon has been outstanding for the Phillies so far in 2013. He has pitched in 15 games (0 starts) for the Phillies so far this year and he is 0-0 with 7 saves, a 1.15 ERA and a 0.57 WHIP. Papelbon has given up 8 hits and 1 walk while whiffing 12 batters in his first 15 2/3 innings, which is pretty darn impressive. Papelbon has now pitched in 85 games (0 starts) in his first two years with the Phillies and he is 5-6 with 45 saves, a 2.21 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. The Phillies hope that Papelbon keeps up the good work moving forward.
26-year old righty swinging 1B/OF Darin Ruf is awaiting his next chance with the Phillies. He played in 12 games for the Phillies last year in his first taste of the majors and he was 11 for 33 (.333 avg, 1.079 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 3 homers and 10 RBIs. Ruf has played in 33 games in AAA-ball for the Phillies so far this year and he is 35 for 123 (.285 avg, .845 OPS) with 18 runs scored, 5 homers, 21 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Ruf has now played in 491 games in his first five years in the majors and he is 533 of 1,755 (.304 avg, .902 OPS) with 275 runs scored, 72 homers, 304 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. He came into this season as the Phillies’ #9 prospect according to Baseball America. I think Ruf will make it back to Philly at some point in 2013.
With Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay in the starting rotation, it would be absurd to think of 28-year old righty Kyle Kendick as the ace of the rotation…..but he has been so far in 2013. Kendrick has started 7 games for the Phillies so far in 2013 and he is 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He has only given up 42 hits and 10 walks while whiffing 35 batters in his first 47 2/3 innings for the Phillies so far this year and those are some pretty darn impressive numbers. Kendrick has now pitched in 171 games (130 starts) in his first seven years with the Phillies and he is 58-43 with a 4.19 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Kendrick is making the most of his first season with a full-time spot in the starting rotation, so the Phillies hope that he keeps up the good work.
The Phillies will call up 25-year old righty starting pitcher Tyler Cloyd tonight to start against the Diamondbacks tonight. He will get the first shot to replace Roy Halladay in the starting rotation. Cloyd pitched in 6 games (all starts) in AAA-ball this year and he was 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. Cloyd got his first taste of the majors for the Phillies last year when he started 6 games in which he was 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Cloyd came into this season as the Phillies’ #21 prospect according to Baseball America and they hope that he’s up for the challenge.
The Phillies have released 25-year old righty swinging outfielder Ronnie Weltz. Weltz played in 15 games in AA-ball for the Phillies this year and he was 6 for 37 (.162 avg, .463 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer, 3 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Weltz has played in 534 games in his first six years in the minors and he is 536 of 1,906 (.281 avg, .820 OPS) with 293 runs scored, 68 homers, 310 RBIs and 49 stolen bases. This isn’t much of a loss for the Phillies moving forward.
The Philadelphia Phillies have placed 35-year old righty starting pitcher Roy Halladay on the 15-day disabled list due to a right shoulder injury. Halladay has pitched in 7 games (all starts) for the Phillies so far this year and he is 2-4 with a 8.65 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. Halladay has given up 33 hits (9 homers) and he has walked 17 batters and whiffed 35 of them in his first 34 1/3 innings this year as he is getting hit hard. Halladay looks like he’s running out of gas in his tank. In his first two years with the Phillies, he started 65 games in which he was 40-16 with a 2.40 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. He won the 2010 N.L. Cy Young Award in his first year with the team. But, in the last two years, Halladay has started 32 games in which he is 13-12 with a 5.24 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. The Phillies shouldn’t bring Halladay back until he’s 100% healthy.
UPDATE: (5/8/2013) - The Phillies could be without Roy Halladay for the rest of the season. He needs right shoulder surgery to remove a bone spur and correct a partially torn rotator cuff and a frayed labrum.
The Phillies have signed 29-year old lefty starting pitcher Greg Smith and they have assigned him to AAA. Smith pitched in 28 games (27 starts) in AA+AAA-ball for the Angels last year and he was 11-11 with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. Smith last pitched in the majors in 2010 with the Rockies. Smith has pitched in 40 games (all starts) in his first two years in the majors and he is 8-18 with a 4.51 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Smith might get a shot with the Phillies later on in 2013 if he looks good in AAA-ball.
22-year old righty starting pitcher Jonathan Pettibone is off to a good start to his major league career. He has started 3 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. He has given up 18 hits and walked 2 batters while whiffing 13 in his first 16 2/3 innings so far this year. He came into this season as the Phillies’ #4 prospect according to Baseball America. He pitched in 89 games (87 starts) in his five years in the minors for the Phillies and he was 33-31 with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Pettibone will have a good chance of keeping his starting role for a while if he keeps pitching well as #5 starter John Lannan isn’t going to be ready to return any time soon.