The groundswell of support for Ryan Madson to step into the starting rotation is growing. While manager Charlie Manuel didn't exactly jump on the idea, he admits that Madson is an attractive choice. "It wouldn't take much to stretch him out. I wouldn't be surprised if he could go five innings now," said Manuel.
The show of support from Manuel has to have the tempermental Vicente Padilla feeling like he's on the edge. Padilla has been unable to turn around his season and blames it on what he describes as a muscle knot in his back. Manuel isn't completely convinced. "As far as I know, he's fine," Manuel said. "If somebody tells me differently, I'll believe him."
If Madson is moved to the rotation, it likely won't happen without Tim Worrell returning to the majors and showing that he can be effective. Worrell will make another rehab appearance with Reading on Thursday night. It's possible that he could be activated from the DL as early as this weekend, but the timetable is still officially for him to return early next week. If Padilla struggles in his next start - Friday night against Atlanta - then Worrell could be brought back this weekend to see how effective he can be.
Manuel also says that a platoon at third base isn't a consideration. David Bell is hitting .429 against left-handers, but just .181 against righties. Tomas Perez is hitting .245 against right-handers and Ramon Martinez is hitting .265 against righties.
Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons
Gavin Floyd has been throwing better for the Red Barons in his last three starts, he's gone 19 innings, striking out 14 and posting a 1-0, 5.68. While his ERA isn't impressive, it's a definite improvement. His last start saw Floyd go eight innings and he allowed just two earned runs on nine hits and no walks. If nothing else, he's at least showing signs of snapping out of his season-long slump.
Jorge Padilla has made it back to AAA. The 25 year old outfield prospect played 117 games for Scranton last season, but has been hampered by injuries. He's worked his way back and was rewarded with a promotion to Scranton on Tuesday (June 28). He started Tuesday night's game in right field and went 0-for3 in Scranton's win over Buffalo.
Jim Deschaine is on one of his hot streaks, which is good news for the R-Phils. Deschaine, a veteran minor leaguer, launched two homeruns Tuesday night (June 28) against Akron to help Reading to a 3-2 win in 10 innings. In his last seven games, Deschaine is hitting .350 (7-for-20) with four homeruns. Deschaine is fighting for playing time since the Reading outfield of Ryan Fleming, Michael Bourn and Chris Roberson is pretty tough to crack. If you take Deschaine's pinch-hitting appearances out of his seven game stretch, he's hitting .411 (7-for-17).
Keith Bucktrot is showing why he was one of the top pitching prospects for the Phillies prior to suffering some injuries. In four starts with Reading, Bucktrot is 1-1, 4.13 on the season. In his last two starts though, he has posted a 2.98 ERA in 13 innings of work. If not for the injuries that he's battled, Bucktrot would likely be right in the middle of the discussion about finding another starter for the major league rotation.
Scott Mathieson will be the lone Phillies representative in the annual Futures Game which will be played in Detroit on July 10th. Mathieson, a native of Canada, will pitch for the World Team against the USA squad. In 12 starts with the Threshers, Mathieson is 1-2, 3.66 on the season. His last start on Monday (June 27) saw him throw six innings and allowing just one earned run against Tampa.
Zack Segovia has struggled since returning from Tommy John surgery, but has shown definite signs of life. In his last start, he threw 6 2/3 shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out five. On the season, Segovia has a 6.08 ERA.
The big news on the Clearwater pitching staff though is Cole Hamels. Hamels has made two starts, going 11 innings and giving up just three hits and two walks. He has allowed just one run, which was unearned, and he's struck out 13 hitters.
Brad Harman returned from the DL and is hitting the ball well, putting together a nine-game hitting streak in the process. During the streak, Harman is hitting .326 (14-for-43).
Greg Golson is also enjoying success since returning from the disabled list. Golson is hitting .343 (12-for-35) and has upped his season average to .279 with Lakewood.
Second round pick Mike Costanzo doubled in his first professional game, but has run into some tough times and is hitting just .235 for Batavia. Costanzo started strong and had his average as high as .375 just a week ago.
Batavia pitchers have posted a 4.17 ERA through the first seven games of the season. Michael Zagurski has led the way with a 1.13 ERA in his first two starts. Patrick Overholt has also made it through two starts and has an ERA of under two at 1.35. On the other end, Carlos Carrasco has struggled through two starts, posting a 6.55 ERA.
Baez, who didn't even play in the first two games of the season, has played in each of the last two games and is hitting .375 (3-for-8). Barb started the second game of the season and was hit for three earned runs in five innings of work, taking the loss.
Buck Shaw, another player who hoped to start the year with Batavia, is hitting .364 (4-for-11) in his first four games. Shaw has started all four games at first base. Last season, Shaw hit .258 in 46 games in the GCL. He also led the GCL Phillies in homeruns with eight and has one already this season.