With talk that the Phillies are seeking additional pitching, Reading beat writer Mike Drago updates the readiness of four Double-A pitching prospects.
Carlos Carrasco: He's a markedly better pitcher than he was last season at Reading, but he's still yet to take that huge step forward people are waiting for. His K/BB ratio is much improved, though it's still not great (44/19). Not sure why this is, but he's been tougher on lefties this year (.191 vs. .237) but not as effective against righties (.276 vs. .258). I'll have to check on that. Bottom line: He's not ready for the big leagues yet; by the end of July we'll have a better idea. He needs to run off five or six consecutive, consistent starts before he's moved up, and he hasn't come close to doing that.
Josh Outman: Early results from the bullpen are very promising. Last three times out: four innings, two hits, no walks, three strikeouts. Key there is no walks. Velocity on back-to-back nights was still good, 92-93. For the season, lefties are hitting just .160 off him, and he's struck out 10 of 25 lefties he's faced. It's early in the process, but he could become a seventh-inning guy, or situational guy, by midseason.
Fabio Castro: Was actually better in a starting role than I would have imagined, but he's still walking too many batters (19 in 33 2/3). I can see him in some minor role in the major league bullpen, middle innings, situational type thing, though it's interesting this year that lefties are hitting better (.231) than righties (.202) off him.
Joe Bisenius: He had injuries the past two seasons, lost confidence, and now has control issues, but I still like him. He's got great stuff. He could turn it around quickly and be back in the big leagues by midseason.
Antonio Bastardo (honorable mention): He's better, and throws harder, than people have given him credit for. Still very inexperienced, though.