An MRI on Freddy Garcia's right shoulder showed pathology in the labrum and fraying of the rotator cuff. In all probability, his Phillies' career is over before it ever got started. Not that it should have gotten started.
Had a proper examination been conducted before the Phillies finalized their biggest trade of winter, they might have had enough evidence not to enter into an arrangement that cost them their top left-handed prospect, another young pitcher and $10 million in cash for one win over 11 painstaking starts. Garcia showed signs of fading last season, when radar guns marked him in the low 80s. This wasn't out of the blue.
Garcia will reportedly seek a second opinion, but season-ending surgery is a good bet. Yesterday, Charlie Manuel reiterated that Brett Myers will remain in the bullpen when he comes off the disabled list. That means two of their top three starters, Garcia and Myers, are no longer in the starting mix, and both are currently hurt.
Instead of Myers, the Phillies will call on Double-A right-hander Kyle Kendrick, whose minor league career had been puttering along until a breakout year in 2006. The Phillies would rather not resort to this, I’m almost certain, but their lack of depth and foresight has left them short-handed yet again. The odds are slim he’s ready to handle it. If he’s pounded, he could fall into a developmental tailspin.
Think of all the ways desperate acts like Kendrick and Jose Mesa could have been prevented. Had they signed a closer, Myers would have never been moved. Had they broken spring training with Justin Germano, who’s done a workman’s job with San Diego, they’d have a more experienced fallback. Had they demonstrated "due diligence" with Garcia, they would have had better wiggle room to address areas of need.
Eye on the Double-A: With his promotion to the show, Kendrick isn’t the only opening in Reading, beat writer Mike Drago has indicated. In addition to Kendrick, two active players aren't in uniform, outfielder Javon Moran and starter Tim McClasky. Adding players who aren’t performing, Drago estimates they’re as many as five or six guys short.
One candidate to take Kendrick’s spot is left-hander Josh Outman, who’s proven he can handle Class-A hitters. The 22-year-old former 10th round pick struck out nine his last start and has a 0.98 ERA in his last six starts. Other call-up candidates include outfielders Jeremy Slayden and Greg Golson and top pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco. And speaking of Carrasco ...
Carrasco tosses three-hit shutout: Last night in the Florida State League, Phillies top prospect Carlos Carrasco went the distance against the Fort Myers Miracle, giving up three hits with 7 strikeouts in nine innings to earn his sixth win of the season. After a slow start, the 20-year-old right-hander is red-hot and has lowered his ERA to 2.82. He’s also earned a trip to the FSL All-Star game.
Condrey out? Phillies.com scribe Ken Mandel believes Clay Condrey is likely to be demoted to make room for Kendrick.
Ruiz ailing: Catcher Carlos Ruiz is nursing a swollen wrist suffered on a Carlos Beltran backswing, but the injury is not considered significant enough for a trip to the DL.
Costanzo heating up: After a grim, Tim Moss-type start, Reading third baseman Mike Costanzo may be starting to figure it out. The team's top third base prospect is now hitting .247 with 11 homers, 13 doubles, a .319 OBP and .449 slugging percentage.
Last night: Nothing puts a smile on my face like an Antonio Alfonseca save. I find him easy to cheer for because my expectations were so low. He’s keeping the ball on the ground and has five saves. El Pulpo has been a reliable surprise and hasn’t allowed a run in his last nine games.
With Myers out, the Phillies are starting to settle on some defined bullpen roles. Mike Zagurski made quick work of the White Sox in the eighth, and I noticed Yoel Hernandez warming just in case. From my vantage point, Hernandez has leapfrogged Condrey and Francisco Rosario in the depth charts.
As for the rest of the game, you don’t often see effortless 3-0 Phillies victories. It was their first win when scoring three runs or less (1-18 on the season). Could it be the White Sox offense stinks? Nah. It was a very nice win nevertheless. Shutout ball from Adam Eaton is in everyone's best interest. And Ryan Howard is back, and was probably back days ago. His line since his May 25 return: (16 G, 54 AB, 9 R, 16 H, .296 AVG, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 11 BB, 17 K)