At the time of Brett Myers' injury, Carlos Carrasco was winless and just starting to pitch consistently. Since then, he's gone 4-1 and has pitched effectively for well over a month.
When the Phillies named 23-year-old Antonio Bastardo as Myers' replacement, they were selecting the hottest hand in the system. Now, with Bastardo in need of his own replacement, the Phils could use the same tactic, only this time the pitcher in place could also be their highest rated in the system, according to most preseason analysts.
Although the Phillies have not made a decision on who will pitch Thursday's game in Atlanta, it will likely come down to Carrasco, who's listed on the 40-man roster and was a candidate for the rotation in spring training, and Andrew Carpenter, the recipient of a spot start earlier in the season against Washington. While Carrasco has improved, Carpenter has been Lehigh Valley's most consistent starter hands down, tossing an eight-inning, seven-strikeout shutout in his last start. However, the Phillies may consider Carpenter's performance in his first start and test drive their younger prize, considered to have a higher ceiling.
Pros and cons help and hurt each candidate. Carrasco has the physical tools to succeed at the highest level, but confidence and his ability to stay cool when things haven't gone his way have been noted issues. Carpenter dictates the pace and locates, but he doesn't have electric stuff. Either one would represent a completely different look than Bastardo, a raw lefty who pitched on pure adrenaline, with the wildly varied results one would expect.