Philadelphia's rotation has been a mess, but further down the chain, a handful of starters are lighting it up, including a mystery lefty.
Here's a name that you haven't seen. Scratch that. Here's a name that I haven't seen: Yohan Flande. He's a 23-year-old 6-2 lefty from El Seibo in the Dominican and spent last season stashed in the Gulf Coast League, where he went 4-1 in 10 games (9 starts) with a 2.19 ERA. This season, he's been jumped all the way to Class-A Clearwater, where he pitched seven shutout innings yesterday, making it 12 shutout innings so far this season. Where's he been hiding? Seven innings in mid-April is an awfully long leash, typically reserved for the big dogs. Keep your eye on Flande.
Some of the more recognizable starters are off to solid starts as well, including Flande's teammate Kyle Drabek, who threw seven shutout innings of his own his last start, including nine strikeouts. In full recovery from Tommy John, the former first rounder is primed for a breakout. Elsewhere, Vance Worley and Mike Stutes, direct arrivals from the Sally League, appear to be at the right level in Double-A and have performed well. And in Lehigh Valley, top prospect Carlos Carrasco tossed a pair of excellent six-inning outings, while Kyle Kendrick allowed two runs over seven frames his last turn.
Mayberry: Following up on March Mayberry Madness, John Mayberry Jr. is hitting .206/.308/.441 with two homers and 11 strikeouts in Triple-A Lehigh Valley.