Opinion: Carrasco Should Start Tuesday

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Sat, May 30, 2009 01:44 PM | Comments: 33
Opinion, Posts

CarrascoWho’s the right man for the job? Who can step in Tuesday for Brett Myers and put together a solid start?

Easy: It’s Carlos Carrasco

Go back to May 2006. On a Cincinnati night, the Phillies decided to finally let Cole Hamels start his major league career. He didn’t disappoint then, and after a year of acclimating to the majors, he hasn’t disappointed since. Hamels is, of course, one of the best starters in baseball today.

Carlos Carrasco isn’t Cole Hamels. He probably doesn’t project the same way as the outstanding lefty. But Carrasco has great stuff, the ability for dominance and the need for training in the major league level. Like Hamels before him, Carrasco has done everything he’s needed to do in the minors. Handcuffed with a completely misleading triple-A line, Carrasco is too big for the small britches of Allentown.

Carrasco is 0-6 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. Those numbers look poor, but they only give you black-and-white readings. Look further, and you’ll see Carrasco has a FIP of 3.36. FIP is Fielding Independent Pitching, which accounts for only the things for which pitchers are responsible. It takes out fielding and the size of the ballpark. The 3.36 reads like an ERA. That, in triple-A, while carrying a strikeout-walk ratio of over 4:1 (58/15), shows Carrasco is ready. There’s no more holding him back.

Of course, one point about Carrasco people can’t ignore is his makeup. Reports are he can get frustrated, leading to the big inning. But throughout his career, Carrasco has held a left-on-base percentage near 75 percent. While it declined this season, the longer statistical overview shows consistency.

Really, one can’t help but wonder if Carrasco is tired of triple-A.

Like I said, he isn’t Cole Hamels, but Carrasco is a good pitcher ready to contribute to a major league team. And it should not be about burning options or starting his arbitration clock — he’s coming to the Phils in September, at the very least. Start him now. Get his feet wet. Would Kyle Kendrick or Andrew Carpenter really give you a better chance to win?

Don’t waste Carrasco’s talents anymore in triple-A. Start him Tuesday.

Avatar of Tim Malcolm

About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1948 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    I’m sold. What’s the downside in starting Carrasco over Kendrick? Let’s see what the kid can do.

  • Posts: 0 4daysrest.com

    I actually agree with you. Kyle Kendrick or Andrew Carpenter is not going to give us a better chance of winning. The only other option I think is reasonable for Tuesday is Antonio Bastardo. He has the hottest hand in the minors right now and he has filthy stuff, drawing comparisons to Johan Santana.

    Either one of these young studs should get the nod, not a garbage-throwing sinkerballer who can’t get lefthanded hitters out.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff of Nova

    I agree I think Carrasco has been groomed for this. Bastardo would be my second choice. Then Kendrick

  • Posts: 0 Jeff of Nova

    One problem, Carrasco pitched last night so I doubt they bring him up on short rest

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    Crap, I guess we won’t be seeing Carrasco then.

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    Jeff you took the words right out of my mouth, he pitched his deepest game of the year last night going 7 innings and to ask him to go on 4 days rest may ask for a guy who’s going to be all adrenaline going into his MLB debut to go short of full rest. I really think the phils are going to give Carpenter another shot. I think I heard Amaro’s going to announce a decision by tonight but if Carpenter doesn’t pitch tomorrow or Kendrick for that matter, one of those 2 are going up. As much as I really want Bastardo to be the guy on Tuesday, i don’t think the phils want to go with 4 lefties in a rotation. That’s the one thing that i feel will hold Bastardo back from the rotation this season unless Moyer either feels he doesn’t have it anymore to pitch or he just gets demoted, the first choice being more probable since his career has earned him every chance to be in the rotation.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    Bastardo pitched Thursday, so his next scheduled start is Tuesday.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R. (formerly just Ed)

    I like the write up Tim. Especially considering you pulled FIP out of no where. I’ll be honest, thats the first time I have ever heard that statistical measurement mentioned. Oddly enough, I had always wondered if a stat similar to that existed. Glad to see that it does.

    I’d love to see what Carrasco can do.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I’m sold. Great article, Tim. Carrasco looks like the best option.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    Ed R., check out Baseball Prospectus or Fangraphs (I’m not sure how much of the info is free or premium) for more info on FIP.

    I guess there’s no way to bring up Carrasco without having someone pitch on short rest. What about Bastardo, is he not ready?

  • Posts: 0 Justin D.

    Tim, Firstly I think the comparison to Cole Hamels is off. Hamels basically forced the Phillies to bring him up after he literally dominated minor league hitters. He was promoted because he was simply too good for the minors. In 200 plus innings Hamels accrued a 1.43 ERA and struck out an astounding 276 batters (while walking 74). Carrasco hasn’t accumulated Hamels-like numbers for an entire season since 2006 while in Lakewood. I know Hamels had been hurt, but when healthy he never struggled.

    Also, these are not the 2006 Phillies. These Phillies are the defending world series champions. Now is not the time for Carlos to learn. We are in arguably baseball’s best division, and if he is not consistently getting people out in the minors, why should we believe he is going to help us? I saw him down in Clearwater this spring get clobbered in relief.

    Plus Carlos is 22!! He is still young. As for him being “bored of AAA”, that is a poor excuse for not performing well. If any ballplayer is bored of playing in AAA at 22, I don’t want him. It’s baseball, beautiful baseball.

    As far as the FIP, you didn’t explain it too well so I can’t take that as a valid point. Unless we evaluate all pitchers including Bastardo and Kendrick with FIP, we cannot use it. Citizens Bank Park isn’t too pitcher friendly so does that mean his ERA will still be high and his FIP will be lower? BTW, ERA still takes into account fielding.. (EARNED runs vs UNEARNED)

    Now I know I am not offering a better suggestion because Kendrick and Carpenter are not the greatest options, but if I had to choose I’d go with Bastardo.

  • Posts: 0 I'm Chutly

    Well, it looks like the Phillies will be back in first place after tonight. You gotta see what lineup Jerry Manuel put on the field today against Josh Johnson and the Marlins. It’s a GIMME WIN for the Marlins.

  • Posts: 0 pb

    With Sergio Escalona added to the pen it makes me think they are going to go with Carpenter or Park just for one game until they can get Carrasco on the proper schedule.

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    Bastardo’s in line for a Tuesday start but does anyone think that having 4 lefties in the rotation is redundant? I mean as much as I want Bastardo there, and believe me I think he’s the best option, I just don’t think the Phillies would go with 4 lefties. The more I think about it, going into a Pitchers park like San Diego I think Kendrick may get the start, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Carpenter get another shot to prove he’s better than what happened at the end of his outing in Washington.

  • Posts: 0 AM

    I liked this article a lot, but Jeff is right, Carrasco will be unavailable.

    Maybe Bastardo gets the spot start in Philly on Tuesday, then goes down to AAA in exchange for Carrasco on Sunday…?

  • Posts: 0 Brett

    I agree, Carrasco deserves a shot. It’s a shame he isn’t available.

  • Posts: 0 Vince

    Anyone see Carrasco’s stats? 0-6? I saw him pitch last night for the iron pigs. Shaky first inning, then looked ok…. I say try Bastardo out….he’s hot and you can see what he’s made of.

  • Posts: 0 MDefl

    I can’t buy Carrasco right now. How about winning one game at AAA before comparing him to Hamels? Bastardo for Tuesday but they need to make a trade.

  • Posts: 0 Gavin

    As for the arbitration arguement, I think the clock resets on June 1st, so the phils would get another year out of him before arbitration whenever they bring him up after that date. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    Tim probably put Carrasco’s name up for debate/discussion to obtain the desired feedbacks for his blog. I found it amusing that as one poster said..Tim “pulled FIP out of no where..” to justify his choice. Nevermind his 0-6 record and 5.40 ERA. (chuckles)

    Justin D. has the best response to Tim’s choice. I fully agree with Justin. And as Justin mentioned, at age 22, Carrasco is still young and if boredom is part of the reason for lack of focus and composure during a troublesome inning of pitching, he still has a lot to learn. Hopefully, he may be ready for the September call up with a few wins in AAA under his belt.

    For better or worse, I’m fairly certain Kendrick will get the call for Tuesday.

  • Posts: 0 Michael N.

    Just give it to Kendrick maybe we can showcase him a little for as trade bait we cant let Carassaco come up on short days rest and let him BOMB and then diminish his trade value at least with Kendrick most people would know what they would be getting.

  • My vote goes to Bastardo. Incredible K/BB ratio this season so far.

  • Posts: 0 phxphilly

    If Carrasco struggles it could seriously hinder his development. I think Phillies need to send him a message that he needs to improve his consistently before he can join a playoff-caliber team. He needs to force his promotion.

    Bastardo should be trade bait. He’s hot and has a good history but was never considered a superstar talent. With Hamels and Happ hopefully around for awhile, I’d say trade him while his value is sky high. If he is brought up and struggles his value may drop immediately. I’d much rather use Bastardo as the ‘signature’ player in a trade for Oswalt or Bedard or Webb (injury depending) while keeping Carrasco, Drabek, Taylor, and Brown (Donald, Marson, D’Arnaud are struggling so far).

    Therefore, I think Carpenter makes sense until we may a trade. Carpenter just projects to be an average pitcher so I’m not worried about hurting his development.
    If no trade is made and Carpenter struggles then I think Kendrick or Carrasco (at that point) should get the ‘full-time’ promotion with the hope to stay in the rotation throughout the rest of the season.

  • Posts: 0 Rich

    I’m sorry dude, I have Phillies and Ironpigs season tickets, I watch this guy a lot. He’s not ready. He needs a lot of work.

  • Posts: 0 Kennedy

    No, Bastardo should be the guy. Of our AAA guys, he’s the only one who has been consistently good. Carrasco’s average against is .281 in AAA, he’d get shelled in the Show. Carpenter proved he couldn’t get through the fifth against one of the weakest teams in baseball. Kendrick would be a fifth starter only on a very weak MLB team, and Rodrigo Lopez is an old not very good Mexican dude. Bastardo’s been lights out on every level he’s played at, his avg against this year (AA and AAA combined) is only .194, he’s pitched 47 innings and only given up 10 walks, 10 runs, and had 51 strikeouts. His control is superb. Plus the worst that can happen is he gets shelled a couple starts, Chan Ho Park does some long relief, and he gets sent back to AAA. The best that can happen is he becomes a credible #2 MLB starter, and I’d say his chances are good, he has the tools (control, an ill changeup, and durability) to be a very good player.

  • Posts: 0 Kennedy

    Keep in mind, a lot of teams keep their best prospects at AA, AAA is a parking lot, so the skill levels really aren’t all that different.

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    I am starting to believe triple a is full of junk ball pitchers who could mess up a young kid swings. and that is why we now see more and more kids come up from double a .

  • Posts: 0 phil

    FIP is on fangraphs.com for free http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=paV03540&position=P

    it is important to understand that Carrasco has two big things skewing his era away from his FIP. First and foremost he has a very fluky LOB%. Basically a pitcher will strand 75-85% of his baserunners, this is league average and right now he is at 57.9%, which will normalize given enough time. His career lob% is in the mid 70′s. The second is his defense/luck on balls in play(which play into the first factor) his BABIP is .374, which is ridiculously high and will normalize over time. When a pitcher has K/BB/HR numbers like he does, it shows he is pitching well. And anyone who would every use a pitchers record as any semblance of metric… well that is just dissapointing.

    oh and era takes into account fielding by ONLY using errors, which are an extremely flawed stat. the players with most range make the most errors (the more balls you get to the more chances you have to make errors) if jimmy rollins gets to a ball up the middle that glances off his glove thats an error, but if derek jeter is 3 steps away from it thats a hit. :\

  • Posts: 0 phxphilly

    I understand that wins is a flawed metric, but isn’t the entire measure of a team WINS!
    Good pitchers will win games. In tight games they get big outs. In blowouts they save the bullpen and may pitch more to contact.
    To totally dismiss Wins as a metric would also be disappointing.

  • Posts: 0 phil

    I totally and entirely dismiss it’s validity. Why would I tie my pitcher evaluation to how the offense is doing? Good pitchers get more outs and allow less hits and walks then bad pitchers regardless of situation. Pitching to contact is a euphemism for bad pitching. Good pitchers miss bats, with very little exceptions(extreme groundballers). Here’s what you need to know about W-L record: Johan Santana is 7-2 and his 2 losses have come in games in which he allowed 0 earned runs. C’mon, we have better tools to evaluate pitchers then record, it should never be referenced. It is an antiquity. Oh and by the way your leading pitchers by wins: Santana and… Bronson Arroyo/Jason Marquis. Yeah great, the statistical measure that tells me Bronson Arroyo and Jason Marquis are star pitchers, is a stat I will kindly disregard.

    heres some nice reading: http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/05/29/hard-luck/#more-2177

  • Posts: 0 4daysrest.com

    Antonio Bastardo it is, just as I originally predicted.

  • Posts: 0 MDefl

    I think it may be a little early to project Bastardo as a 2 but I think he probably is the best option for the next couple of weeks. I can’t see bringing up Carrasco who can’t win a game at AAA or Kendrick who has been inconsistent. The criticism of Carpenter may be a little unfair since the Nats are actually a very good hitting team.

  • Posts: 0 BLOSSOM

    I’ve ended up searching all over for this information. Fortunately I found this at Yahoo.

Leave a Comment

>> Create a new Phillies Nation account.
>> Already registered with Phillies Nation? Log in here.
>> Comment without logging in:

Please ensure your comments comply with our Comment Policy.