Pitcher Cole Hamels earned the win yesterday and is one of the lone bright spots for an organization on the ropes.
Hamels, the Phillies No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America, has thrown 11 shutout innings in two starts, allowing 5 hits, 2 walks and 16 strikeouts. Word around camp this spring, and even dating back to last season, says the Phillies are anxious to move Hamels through the system quickly, and is only in Single-A Clearwater because he can get more work in a warmer climate. The 22-year-old left-hander has missed extensive time with nagging back and elbow injuries. Look for Hamels to jump up to Triple-A soon.
Teammate Zach Segovia, another highly regarded prospect and mainstay on the Phillies' 40-man roster, also impressed in his first start, notching 11 strikeouts in 7 innings. Third baseman Mike Costanzo, the team's first pick in the 2005 draft, is hitting .308 with a home run. Clearwater is off to a 4-2 start.
As for the rest of the organization, Double-A Reading is off to a 1-5 start, despite a roster brimming with talent. The offense has yet to get out of the gate and has been shut out or held to one run four times. Top infield prospect Tim Moss is 0-for-18 with 13 strikeouts. Ouch.
Triple-A Scranton was shutout last night and is off to a 2-4 start. Eude Brito was rocked in his first outing, lasting just three innings and giving up four runs. Chris Coste and Chris Roberson, contenders for the final spot off the bench for the big Phillies until two weeks ago, are hitting just .222 and .200 respectively.