As expected, the Phillies have added a minor league pitching reinforcement for tonight’s game. The unexpected part is that it’s double-A right-hander Andrew Carpenter. Kyle Kendrick is still listed as tonight’s starter, according to the official press notes.
To make room for Carpenter, reservist Andy Tracy has been designated for assignment. The Phillies also cleared space on the 40-man roster by transferring Mike Zagurski to the 60-day DL.
Carpenter, who was a top 10 Phillies prospect before the season, has had an interesting year. The 23-year-old started off in Reading and was the recipient of a good amount of pre-season hype, but was demoted to single-A Clearwater a little more than a month into the season after showing up out of shape. Back with Reading, his last start occurred Friday, when he threw seven shutout innings while striking out eight against Trenton. Between Clearwater and Reading, the 6-3, 225-pound hurler is a combined 9-11 with a 4.68 ERA and 101/39 K/BB ratio in 24 starts. Four of his last five starts were quality, seven-inning starts. The other was an Aug. 17, eight-run shelling at the hands of Trenton. Tracy departs after making two pinch-hit at bats, drawing a walk in one of them.
Beerleaguer: It wouldn't be a Mets series without expecting the unexpected, and the Phils never come up small in that department. Without hearing more details, I have no strong opinion of the move and hopefully Kendrick has a strong night and Carpenter doesn't factor in heavily. He's no stud prospect; he's more of a mid-level prospect who took a backward step this season and is trying to regain some footing. Many were expecting Kris Benson to get the call. Benson is scheduled to pitch for Lehigh Valley tonight. Perhaps Carpenter is the better bet to jump into the mix and devour innings from the pen? Or perhaps it boils down to contractual issues or dollars and cents ...
Additional thoughts: Something I thought about in the car ride home. During spring training, there were some comparisons drawn between Carpenter and Joba Chamberlain as a big, strong guy who could be eased into the Majors with a role in the bullpen. Others thought he'd be this year's Kyle Kendrick. The Phils definitely see something in him as this move suggests. He's going to fall out of many prospect rankings this off-season because he didn't progress in Double-A, but the Phils will always see it differently, and should. They'll usually take the guy throwing the best ball, and he has showcased some consistency lately.