23-year old lefty starting pitcher Alex Morgan came into this season as the Phillies’ #5 prospect according to Baseball America and he’s getting a lot closer to making his major league debut in 2013. He has started 5 games in AAA-ball so far this year and he is 1-2 with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. Morgan only have given up 24 hits and 9 walks while whiffing 20 batters in his first 30 2/3 innings in AAA-ball this year, which is impressive. Morgan has now pitched in 43 games (42 starts) in his first three years in the minors and he is 12-16 with a 3.04 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. If Morgan keeps pitching well in AAA, he will likely get a shot with the Phillies at some point in 2013.
The Phillies have designated 25-year old lefty swinging outfielder Ezequiel Carrera for assignment. Carrera played in 13 games for the Phillies this year and he was 1 for 13 (.077 avg, .327 OPS) with 2 runs scored. Carrera has now played in 129 games in his first three years in the majors and he is 90 for 362 (.249 avg, .641 OPS) with 49 runs scored, 2 homers, 25 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. The Phillies aren’t going to miss Carrera moving forward as they have activated 27-year old righty swinging outfielder Delmon Young to replace him on the active roster. Young played in 7 games in A+AAA-ball on his rehab assignment and he was 11 for 30 (.367 avg, .788 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 0 homers and 2 RBIs. Young played in 151 games last year for the Tigers and he was 153 of 574 (.267 avg, .707 OPS) with 54 runs scored, 18 homers and 74 RBIs. I expect that Young will play almost everyday in the outfield for the Phillies moving forward.
UPDATE: (5/2/2013) - The Phillies have lost Ezequiel Carrera on waivers to the Cleveland Indians.
The Phillies dealt starting pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May to the Twins for 24-year old lefty swinging CF Ben Revere on December 6th, 2012. Revere has been a big disappointment so far for the Phillies in 2013. Revere has played in 22 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 18 of 87 (.207 avg, .472 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 0 homers, 4 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. The Phillies want him to get back to the player he was with the Twins last year, when he played in 124 games in which he was 150 of 511 (.294 avg, .675 OPS) with 70 runs scored, 0 homers, 32 RBIs and 40 stolen bases.
The Phillies have reinstated 34-year old righty swinging catcher from his suspension from Major League Baseball for testing positive for amphetamines. Ruiz played in 4 games in A+AA-ball getting ready for his return to action and he was 2 for 14 (.143 avg, .723 OPS) with 1 run scored, 1 homer and 3 RBIs. Ruiz played in 114 games for the Phillies last year and he was 121 of 372 (.325 avg, .935 OPS) with 56 runs scored, 16 homers, 68 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. 32-year old righty swinging Erik Kratz will return to being Ruiz’ backup. Kratz has played in 21 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 13 for 68 (.191 avg, .531 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 2 homers and 7 RBIs. The Phillies have designated 33-year old righty swinging catcher Humberto Quintero to make room on the roster for Ruiz. Quintero played in 7 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 5 for 20 (.250 avg, .636 OPS) with 2 RBIs.
UPDATE: (5/3/2013) - The Phillies have outrighted Humberto Quintero to AAA.
Righty starting pitcher Jim Bunning was only with the Phillies for six seasons, but they were good ones. He pitched in 226 games (208 starts) in his six years with the Phillies and he was 89-73 with 4 saves, a 2.93 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. He was an All-Star twice with the Phillies and he won 19 games three times and 17 games once in his six year with the team. In 1967, Bunning finished 2nd in the N.L. Cy Young Award voting. He pitched in 40 games (all starts) in 1967 for the Phillies and he was 17-15 with a 2.29 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Bunning pitched 302 1/3 innings in 1967 and he gave up 241 hits, 73 walks and he whiffed 253 batters. Despite only pitching six years for the Phillies, Bunning is still #9 in games started (208) in franchise history. He is also #5 in WHIP (1.11), #10 in innings pitched (1,520 2/3), #7 in strikeouts (1,197) and #5 in shutouts (23) in Phillies’ history. Bunning was elected into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1996.
With veteran outfielder Delmon Young on a rehab assignment right now, 25-year old lefty swinging outfielder Domonic Brown better step up if he wants to stay in the starting lineup much longer. Brown has played in 18 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 13 for 57 (.228 avg, .663 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 2 homers and 6 RBIs. Brown has now played in 165 games in his first four years with the Phillies and he is 115 of 490 (.235 avg, .698 OPS) with 63 runs scored, 14 homers, 64 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. The Phillies have resisted dealing Brown in the past despite many overtures, because of his “potential”. It’s time for Brown to step up if he wants to keep playing a lot for the Phillies.
28-year old righty Kyle Kendrick (#4 starter) and 28-year old lefty John Lannan (#5 starter) are off to good starts in 2013 for the Phillies. Kendrick has started 3 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Lannan has started 2 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 0-0 with a 2.77 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP. If Kendrick and Lannan keep up the good work, the Phillies have to feel good about winning every night they play. Because, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay are going to turn things around soon and Cliff Lee is off to an outstanding start.
UPDATE: (4/18/2013) - The Phillies have placed John Lannan on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained left quadriceps muscle. He had a rough night against the Reds last night. He was the losing pitcher as he only lasted 1 2/3 innings in which he gave up 8 hits, 6 runs (all earned) while walking 1 batter and whiffing 1 batter. Lannan has now started 3 games for the Phillies in 2013 and he is 0-1 with a 6.14 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Lannan will likely miss the next 6-8 weeks.
21-year old lefty starting pitcher Jesse Biddle came into this season as the Phillies’ #1 prospect. Biddle has pitched in 2 games (both starts) in AA-ball so far this year and he is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP. Biddle has now pitched in 65 games (64 starts) in his first four years in the minors and he is 22-16 with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. The Phillies are likely going to put Biddle on the fast track to Philly in 2013.
34-year old righty swinging 3B Michael Young is off to a good start for the Phillies. He has played in 9 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 12 of 32 (.375 avg, 1.053 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homer and 3 RBIs. It’s a good sign that Young is off to such a good start as he is coming off one of his worst years in the majors. He played in 156 games for the Rangers last year and he was 169 of 611 (.277 avg, .682 OPS) with 79 runs scored, 8 homers, 67 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.
29-year old lefty starting pitcher Cole Hamels and 35-year old righty starting pitcher Roy Halladay are both getting pounded so far this year. Hamels has pitched in 2 games (both starts) for the Phillies so far this year and he is 0-2 with a 10.97 ERA and a 1.97 WHIP. He has given up 16 hits (4 homers), walked 5 batters and he has whiffed 7 batters in his first 10 2/3 innings and that’s pretty stinky. It looks like a mechanical problem for Hamels, but the Phillies need to be very concerned with Halladay as his velocity is way down. He has pitched in 2 games (both starts) so far this year for the Phillies and he is 0-2 with a 14.73 ERA and a 2.56 WHIP. He has given up 12 hits (3 homers), walked 6 batters and he has whiffed 12 in his first 7 1/3 innings of 2013. If the Phillies have any hopes of making a playoff run in 2013, they need to get Hamels and Halladay back on the right path soon.