Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

A good week for Lehigh Valley going 5-2, although with 12 games left in the International League season, Lehigh Valley is at 64-68, in 4th place of the Northern Division of the International League, 9 games behind division leading Scranton.

‘Pig Leaders–Andy Tracy is 4th in the league in runs (71); leads the league in walks (68), 2nd in RBI’s (85)and 2nd in homers (24); Mike Cervenak is 9th in hits (122) and 4th in RBI’s (74); Rich Thompson is 7th in triples (5) and 6th in stolen bases (26).  On the mound, Drew Carpenter is 4th in the league in Wins (10), 8th in ERA (3.33), 3rd in IP (143.1), 5th in strikeouts (115) and 3rd in homers allowed (17); Kyle Kendrick is 9th in ERA (3.38) and 4th in WHIP (1.19).

8/24/09–The modest four game winning streak established by Lehigh Valley ended Monday evening at the hands of Pawtucket, 3-2.  Brian Mazone, just off the DL started and pitched very weel, going five shutout innings, striking out 8. Lehigh Valley scored first on a solo homer by John Mayberry (12). Pawtucket’s Jed Lowrie struck back with a solo homer of his own to tie the game at one. The Sox added runs in both the eighth and ninth, while the only other run that the ‘Pigs could muster came on a Mike Cervenak solo homer (8), in the ninth.  Cedric Bowers (4-3) took the loss in relief.

8/25/09–In a wild game that took over four hours and 12 innings to play, the ‘Pigs survived with an 8-5 win over Pawtucket with Terry Tiffee driving in the winning run in the 12th. In a game in which 6 homers were hit, the ‘Pigs scored three in the 12th by hitting the ball out of the infield just once.   Rodrigo Lopez started for Lehigh Valley and was hit around a bit, going 6 innings, and giving up 5 runs on 10 hits.  Jason Anderson (2-2) picked up the win in relief going 3 scoreless innings.JJ Furmaniak led the way offensively for Lehigh Valley with three hits, including his 5th homer and both Rich Thompson and Jason Ellison had 2 hits apiece as Lehigh Valley notched their 5th win in their last 6 games.

8/26/09–It was a night when not much went right for Lehigh Valley in their 4-0 loss.  They managed just two hits (Ellison and Mayberry) and Drew Carpenter (10-5) had a lousy outing (see below) in taking the loss. Not much more to say about this game.

8/27/09.  An excellent outing by Kyle Kendrick and timely hitting by Lehigh Valley led the ‘Pigs to a 11-2 win over Rochester Thursday night. Kendrick (8-7) went 7.2 innings and gave up just 2 runs on 7 hits.  Rich Thompson scored on a Rochester error in the 4th to give the ‘Pigs the early lead, but Rochester quickly responded with two runs in the bottom of the 4th to make it 2-1 Rochester.  The game remained 2-1 until Jason Ellison yanked his 5th homer of the year to tie the game at two in the 6th.  A two run single by Mike Cervenak and a Sac Fly by Andy Tracy broke the game open in the 8th, giving Lehigh Valley the 5-2 lead. Lehigh Valley added six more in the ninth on RBI singles by Carlos Leon, Jason Ellison,and Rich Thompson. Terry TIffee finished the scoring with a bases clearing double making the score 11-2. Jason Ellison was the hero of the game offensively, going 3-5 with a homer and 2 RBI’s.   Rich Thompson, Carlos Leon, and Mike Cervenak all had two hits for the ‘Pigs.  Cervenak had 4 RBI’s.

‘Pig Prospects–Michael Taylor remains on the DL with an oblique strain.  From an injury that was originally day to day, there now is some question about whether Taylor will play again during the IL season.  No real reason to rush him back especially with the prospect of Taylor playing Winter ball this year. There appears to be a good chance Taylor will be added to the Arizona Fall League roster, with Steve Sudorf moving over to the taxi squad.

Andrew Carpenter struggled in his outing against Rochester this week, going 5.1 innings and giving up 4 runs on 10 hits.  He walked four and struck out four.  Although extremely consistent all year, Carpenter has slowed considerably since he came back from Philly in the end of July, after his second “call up” of the year.  With that being said, Carpenter is at 10-5 with a 3.34 ERA over 143.1 innings.  He has walked 43, struck out 115 and given up 17 home run balls, while limiting the opposition to an average just over .262. Carpenter has postioned himself to be “in the mix” for the #5 job in Philly next year.

John Mayberry had  another average  week going 7-27 (.259) with 2 homers among his 7 hits.  Very “on again, off again” for Mayberry, who is at .251/.330/.456 on the year with 12 HR and 39 RBI in his 279 AAA at bats.He is hitting .263 with RISP and has stolen 6 bases. With Mayberry’s status on the 40 man roster and his option already used this year, I would expect Mayberry back on the Phils bench come early September.

Joe Savery–had a decent start this week, going 5.2 innings and giving up 2 runs while picking up his third win in a Lehigh Valley uniform.  Savery continues to be average at best at AAA, although still probably in his adjustment period which will continue into the beginning of next year. He stands at 3-1 with a 4.76 ERA in 28.1 innings.  He has walked 17 and struck out 15, while the opponent is hitting a lofty .287 against him (.310) with RISP.  His WHIP is at 1.69.  The problems remain the same, command and no real “out” pitch.

Kyle Kendrick pitched very well in both outings this week, picking up a win against Scranton, giving up just a run in 6 innings, and was very good once again against Rochester, going seven innings and giving up 2 runs.  On the week, 13.2 IP 13H 3 ER 2BB 2K.  For the year, Kendrick is at 8-7 with a 3.38 ERA in 135.2 IP.  He has walked just 37 and struck out 61, while allowing the opposition a batting average of .250 (.178) in scoring position. These numbers are numbers the Phils brass would have hoped for in Spring Training out of Kendrick. While I am still not sure that Kendrick will be around the Phils organization in the long term, he has done nothing but do his job for the ‘Pigs this year, and I would expect to see him in a Phillies uniform in a long relief role in September.

Transactions: LHP Brian Mazone was activated from the DL and pitched Monday evening.  To make room on the roster, Michael Taylor was placed on the DL retroactive to August 22.

Notes: Carlos Leon became the first player to hit a home run in his first Lehigh Valley at bat with his homer last Sunday.

Jason Ellison has hit in 18 of the last 20 games he has started, and continues to lead the team in OF assists.

Rich Thompson has hit in 12 of the last 14 games.

Gustavo Chacin in 5-0 with a 3.02 ERA in his last 10 starts.

Andy Tracy broke his own record for homers by a Lehigh Valley player and now is at 24 on the year.

David Newhan has not played this week due to a leg injury.  WIthout both Newhan and Taylor, Lehigh Valley is currently going with just 11 position players and 13 pitchers on the active roster which recently lost Miguel Cairo to the Phils as well.

25 thoughts on “Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

  1. It looks like the Phillies will shortly have 4 MLB quality pitchers to add to the roster shortly after September 1 which would put them at 16 pitchers. Since long relief has traditionally been used as a pitcher to put in when the team is being buried by the opposition so as not to wear out the arms of more important pitchers, I would hope they would not need so much long relief as to require more than 16 pitchers.

    If they do what might be best for the 5th starter next season, they will work Kyle Drabek in from the beginning of the season. With off-days and rain outs early in the season they can work the 5th starter in slowly and thereby get a handle on controlling the total pitches for the season. The wasting of good pitching in minor league innings can be avoided. If the Phillies follow this prudent course, people won’t be on here next season whining about how many innings Drabek is piching in the minors next season, or how many innings threw in the minors this season, or quoting Tom Verducci.

  2. I disagree on Drabek. Unless something out of the ordinary happens, Drabek will start in the minors next season. I don’t think his performance has won him a move to AAA as yet. Also, I’m not sure starting Drabek at 5 is the best for the org.

    Even if he has a strong spring training, CM has historically favored veterans. (see J.A. Happ)

  3. Happ didn’t have a strong spring training. He had a strong couple of starts and a weak couple of starts.

  4. Drabek will have as much shot at the rotation as Carrasco did this year. They’ll throw him in the mix, give him the experience but by April he’ll be at Reading or LHV. I really think Carpenter, as gregg mentioned above, will be given every opportunity to take the 5th starter slot, but Moyer will probably move back into the rotation based solely on his experience, cost and looming free agency.

  5. I cannot currently envision Drew Carpenter as next year’s 5th starter for a championship contending team. I view him, at best, as a long relief guy. Lee, Blanton, Hamels, Happ and . . . Carpenter? Not going to happen.

  6. I don’t want to get off track, but who then? Moyer? Probably, based on the money he’s making. Drabek? Doubtful he starts the year up there and they only get him for 6 instead of 6 1/2 years. Someone outside of the organization currently? Doubtful, based on the current econcomic commitment the team has already made to next year’s roster.

  7. not to get off topic but from what i heard the phillies might be open to trading moyer this offseason. his experience might appeal to couple of younger teams. this in turn would open up that 5th spot

  8. I cannot imagine any team wanting to pick up his (Moyer)contract next year. A more likely scenario is that he is back as insurance or that he is released (like Adam Eaton).

  9. Carpenter was lights out at LV for about a two-month period. The Phils called him up briefly earlier in the season then sent him back to LV whence he had those very good two months.

    THEN, when help was needed the Phils called up Lopez it probably had Carpenter thinking “What’s up ?”

    He did have some good starts thereafter but has declined at LV since then.

    It would not be surprising that he felt left out…”No matter how well I do, they skip over me with somebody else.”(my words)

    Discouraged, taking the wind out of his sails, most likely resulting in lousy perfomance recently.

    Understandable. He DOES deserve a fair shot in ’10. Find out if/whether he’ll contribute…giving him a fair opportunity in ’10.

  10. continueing this off topic convo. about next years big league rotation.

    Brett Myers is a free agent, But I really think he likes this team and would be willing to resign at a lesser number than he would for other teams. Plus, with the economic situation in baseball right now, Myers might sign a shorter contract in a place he likes in order to be a free agent again while still young enough to get big $’s elsewhere when the economy rebounds.

    Lee, Hamels, Myers, Happ, Blanton

    Myers would be at his natural slot at 3. Sometimes he pitches like a 2 and sometimes he pitches like a 4.

    That is the rotation I’d like to see next year.

  11. The real questions for next years big league roster is how do we get rid of Ibanez and Moyer. Taylor in the minor leagues next year is pointless, the guy has done everything needed in milb. His situation is so similar to Ryan Howard’s it’s not even funny. Great minor league career after college, getting older, but blocked by a long term deal to a player that is signed to a deal that’s too long and too expensive.

    I’d be more than happy to have Berry and Taylor replace Ibanez and Stairs next year and keep Fransisco in the mix.

    We are so set at SP that, barring an injury, I don’t care who would be in the rotation after Lee, Hamels, Happ, Blanton.

    Myers, Carpenter, Drabek, Lopez, even Kendrick. Anyone of these guys to fill out the rotation is fine by me.

  12. I hope Carpenter gets a fair try but look how long they messed with Happ after his first start(off of rehab). Someone has to close as well. I think all bets are off until Spring. The old management would of made up their minds in December but Ruben is too smart for that.

  13. So that trade is looking better and better.

    The rule of thumb isn’t that young pitchers might get injured, it that young pitchers will get injured.

  14. Carpenter? No, not a chance. He seems to be a 6th starter spot start kind of guy at best. There is value in that in the course of the season and he’ll probably stick around on the 40 man for a couple years as a result.

    He could also very easily be the next Condrey type in the bullpen. His stuff is no different.

  15. MikeMike comments demeaning players WILL be immediately deleted. It is one thing to have disagreements with others about the skills of players, it is another to attack the player.

  16. My sons (10 years old and 6 years old) and I are regulars at the Reading Phillies games. This Friday we have tix to the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs game and my kids are asking about M.Taylor (he is their favorite player). Is he anticipated back by then or have they shut him down for the season? Thanks for any assistance. Go Phils/Phils/Pigs/Blueclaws/Crosscutters/etc.

  17. Ken–
    Taylor has been down in CLearwater rehabbing his oblique injury. He has been shut down for over two weeks now and should be nearing the point of return, although the Phils may not want to risk putting him back into the lineup for meaningless games. With that being said, Taylor is a VERY approachable guy that is great with the fans….Dont forget Friday is a doubleheader!!!

  18. Gregg,
    Thanks. I agree, Taylor appears to be a great guy. He always took the time to talk to my boys and sign autographs when he was in Reading. I really hope we get to see him play in LHV.

  19. Greg nice updates all year. Thanks for your work.

    Since it was a quite day for me I started to think about next years Minor League rotations. We seem to have to many serviceable starters. Not a bad thing. Most of you may have a little more knowledge then me on the advancement process so fill me in if I am off on some placements

    LHV rotation – Carpenter, Kendrick, Savery, Stutes and possibly Bastardo/Drabek. I figure if none of the above make the MLB bullpen then Lopez, Mazzone and Chacin will sign elsewhere. Chacin seems to be worth keeping.

    Reading Rotation – Worley, Cisco, Flande I guess. Then Drabek if not in AAA or 2 guys from this years Clearwater rotation. Say Naylor and Velasquez?

    Clearwater – I see 4 of the 5 at Lakewood moving in here – May and Way, DeFatus and Sanchez. Cloyd may round out the rotation as his K’s per 9 has really dropped since his promotion.

    Lakewood – Once again a full movement up. All the Williamsport starters – Zeid, Hernandez, Noles, Pettibone, Hyatt. Pettibone may be an iffy and Lebron can be placed here.

    Couple questions that everybody can give me some opinions and insight on.
    Hyatt – does he skip Lakewood?
    Shreve – any info on his status???
    Cosart – Any info on his injury??
    On the rookie league staff any of those starters skip Williamsport? I see Rodriguez and possibly Angelle since he is a little old for the short seasons.

  20. 1FlyFan–At the end of year year, I will be doing an “around the system” update for each position which will include an in depth look at each players stats for this year and a projection for next year…

    I have started playing around with where players will land and by way of preview, I think Lehigh Valley will look like this: 1. Kendrick/Carpenter (the other with the Phils in some role)
    2. Drabek
    3. Stutes
    4. Savery.
    5. ??
    For a variety of reasons I don’t think either Lopez or Mazone will be back. I think the Phils would like to bring Chacin back but it may be difficult based on his pedigree and his performance this year. A team may be able to offer him more of an opportunity then the Phils. Look for the “Around the System–Starting Pitching Report sometime the week of Labor Day.

  21. 1FlyFan- one guy you missed is one who started a game today: Heitor Correa. He’s done pretty decently this year and seems to be a guy with potential to be a major leaguer, so I could see him in Clearwater next year.

  22. Don’t be surprised if Bastardo goes back to the big league team this year. With Lidge struggling and so many other relievers injured, he is now part of the conversation.

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