Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Moves Begin...Kendrick Demoted

Following Kyle Kendrick's poor outing against the Cardinals in St. Louis on Monday evening, the Phillies have optioned the 25-year-old right-hander to Triple A Lehigh Valley. To fill the void in Philadelphia's pitching staff, the Phillies have called up Drew Carpenter to take Kendrick's place.

On Monday, Kendrick served up 3 homeruns to the Cards, leading to 7 earned runs allowed in 5 innings. The rough performance by Kendrick left his season stat line looking like this- 5-4 record, 4.82 ERA, .271 batting avg. against.

Through 17 starts with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the righty Carpenter has posted a 7-6 record with a .341 ERA and a .250 batting average against. Carpenter appeared in 3 games with the Phillies last season, surrendering 7 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings (11.12 ERA).

It is unclear what Carpenter's role will be with the team, but the Phillies' next scheduled day off is August 2nd, so an opportunity to skip a spot in the rotation would not be approaching soon. The promotion of Carpenter may also be telling regarding what the Phillies think of the progress of last season's Sporting News Rookie of the Year "Jay" Happ. The left-hander spent time on the disabled list this season, but was optioned to Lehigh when he failed to display the control and velocity, that helped him make an impact with the Phillies last year, during his rehab work. However, it is likely the Carpenter move is a temporary one, as a refined Happ, who reached 95mph with his fastball in his latest IronPig outing, could be used to take Kendrick's turn Saturday and Carpenter could be used as a relief option until then. If Happ is scratched from his scheduled Tuesday start, the picture will become more clear.

Many analysts have stated in recent weeks that a shake up was needed for the Phillies to change their fortunes. The Phils have been roughly 5 games out of first place in the National League East this entire month and have failed to gain any ground on first place Atlanta in the standings.

Lately, phans have been calling for a promotion from Lehigh, but it hasn't been for Carpenter. It has been for top prospect Domonic Brown, who is batting .360 through 20 games at Triple A and has posted a .328 batting average and a .981 OPS in 85 games at two levels this season.

Expect Carpenter to be a prelude to more moves by general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. Happ, Brown as well as some completely new names and faces could be in Philadelphia rocking red pinstripes before too long.

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