The Phillies will hand the ball to a real wild card tomorrow in veteran minor league left-hander Brian Mazone, who will make his major-league debut against Houston.
The 30-year-old left-hander has bounced around the minors and independent leagues for several years, but has never surfaced in the majors. The report is he is not a hard thrower and relies on deception, changing speeds and location.
Mazone (pictured outside a Taco Bell or something) is obviously doing something right, emerging from nowhere to become Scranton’s best pitcher this season. In 20 starts, he went 13-3 with a 2.03 ERA, with 85 strikeouts to 36 walks. Importantly, he’s keeping the ball in the park, giving up just 6 home runs in Scranton. It was the same story in Double-A Reading, where he begain the season after signing as a minor league free agent.
The 6-4 hurler originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Braves in 1998. The Phillies are his fourth major league organization, in addition to two stops in the independent leagues.
My guess is the Phillies like what they saw from Cole Hamels yesterday against the Astros lineup. The Astros are hitting a little better against left-handers on the season, but looked a little out of sorts yesterday. Granted, Hamels pitched lights-out. At the very least, this move forces Lance Berkman to his weaker side. Berkman is hitting just .261 from the right and is the only hitter in the lineup who really scares you.
Symbolically, it continues the growing trend of trusting unheralded minor league talent in big spots. Plus, it's pretty amazing how far Gavin Floyd's stock has fallen, as someone mentioned. Floyd, once considered one of the great pitching prospects in baseball, has now been bypassed by several others, including Mazone, who's a total unknown.
Tejeda throws 6 2-3 shutout innings
Former Phillies prospect Robinson Tejeda (4-3, 5.82 ERA) took a shutout into the seventh inning yesterday and earned the win in the Rangers 8-1 defeat of Oakland. The 25-year-old right-hander, who was traded during spring training to Texas for David Dellucci, had a six-game winning streak for Triple-A Oklahoma before getting called up Aug. 19. This was his third consecutive victory.
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