Starters Needed: Profiling The Candidates

The Phillies starting rotation is almost like a reality show where you lose one contestant every week. Now, with a big weekend with the Mets looming, the Phillies are searching high and low for two starters. Here's a look at the "in-house" candidates.

J.A. Happ:  Last start, Sunday at Columbus : ND, 5 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

While Happ hasn't posted the type of numbers at Ottawa that we might have hoped, he's still pitching well enough to garner serious consideration for a start with the big league club. Happ came into the season as the top ranked prospect on our list of the Top 50 Phillies Prospects and although Carlos Carrasco has seriously closed ground so far this season, Happ is still the man to beat.

J.A. Happ W L ERA G GS CG IP H R ER HR BB KO
Last 3 starts 0 0 3.75 3 3 0 12.0 16 6 5 0 5 14
Season 1 2 4.02 13 13 0 62.2 62 32 28 6 34 67
Career 17 17 2.77 65 63 0 337.1 268 130 104 22 129 344

J.D. Durbin: Last start, Saturday at Columbus: ND, 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

The Phillies added Durbin as insurance and if they ever needed to cash in an insurance policy, now is the time. The 25 year old right-hander has looked pretty good in some of his starts, but has struggled to keep a consistent look on the mound. He pitched in four Major League games with the Twins back in 2004, but was just 22 at the time and many thought he was rushed into a role that he wasn't ready for. Now, most scouts believe that he's about as ready as he's going to be and he's got to be somewhat of an odds-on-favorite to fill at least one of the two starts that the Phillies will need against the Mets this coming weekend. He did also start the season with the Arizona Diamondbacks and got punched around in one relief appearance.

J.D. Durbin W L ERA G GS CG IP H R ER HR BB KO
Last 3 starts 0 0 3.32 3 3 0 19.0 17 10 7 2 6 13
Season (AAA) 2 4 4.55 10 10 0 59.1 67 33 30 9 21 44
Career (minors) 49 26 3.27 133 127 2 731.0 686 313 266 57 279 651

Carlos Carrasco: Last start, Thursday vs. Binghamton: W, 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

In the first Double-A start of his career, Carrasco pitched well enough to get the win for the Reading Phillies last Thursday. He wound up at Reading thanks to an impressive first half of the season with the Clearwater Threshers where he went 6-2, 2.84 and held opponents to a .199 batting average. Carrasco just turned 20 this past March and isn't a long-term solution at this point, but it will be interesting to see if the Phillies give Carrasco a shot at pitching against the Mets. It's quite a task for a 20 year old and isn't a decision to be taken lightly. You can't really blame them if they look for another solution, although it would be exciting to see Carrasco hit Philly for a divisional showdown with the New Yorkers.

Carlos Carrasco W L ERA G GS CG IP H R ER HR BB KO
Last 3 starts 2 0 0.82 3 3 1 22.0 10 2 2 1 4 12
Season (combined) 7 2 2.77 13 13 1 74.2 53 23 23 8 25 57
Career 25 22 3.82 69 66 4 365.0 319 172 155 28 118 272

Zack Segovia: Last start, Saturday vs. Altoona: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 5 K

Don't look at Zack Segovia's season numbers and cringe. Ottawa can be a tough place to pitch, especially for a young pitcher. Not only is there a lot of cold weather pitching to be done - and Segovia is a warm weather kid from Texas - but it's a tough mentally to pitch. The crowds are small, the stadium isn't anything to write home about and you're far away from family; almost isolated. Segovia has plenty of talent and simply doesn't seem to be adjusting well to life in the Great White North. He was his old self back at Reading, although his control isn't where it would need to be for him to get hitters out at the Major League level. The Phillies thought enough of him to have him make an early season start, so why not bring him back for at least one more start with the big league club. Either Segovia or Happ would appear to have the inside track on the longer term spot with the Phillies simply based on their situation.

Zack Segovia W L ERA G GS CG IP H R ER HR BB KO
Last 3 starts 1 2 8.09 3 3 0 16.2 22 16 15 2 10 7
Season (minors) 2 9 7.15 14 14 1 84.1 103 71 67 10 38 29
Career (minors) 26 37 4.50 89 86 4 478.1 492 269 239 40 139 291

One final option would be Clay Condrey. At one time, Condrey was considered to be a top-notch starting prospect for the San Diego Padres and seemed to be well on his way to achieving that back in 2002 when he started three games for San Diego and had a 1.69 ERA. Since then however, Condrey's career has been a series of hellos and good-byes (to quote Billy Joel). Possibly the biggest thing that Condrey has in his favor is the fact that he generally finishes things with a minimum amount of pitches. On Sunday, he threw one shutout inning, needing just five pitches to get the job done and in his last relief appearance at Ottawa, he threw four innings of relief, using just 39 pitches. While his arm isn't truly stretched out, he may be able to give the Phillies a decent amount of innings if he can keep his pitch counts low as he has been able to at the Minor League level.

Clay Condrey W L ERA G GS CG IP H R ER HR BB KO
Last 3 games (minors) 1 0 2.08 3 0 0 8.2 6 2 2 0 2 4
Season (minors) 1 0 3.29 6 0 0 13.2 13 6 5 0 4 8
Season (majors) 2 0 9.00 12 0 0 15.0 22 16 15 2 7 10
Career (minors) 44 39 4.16 323 85 4 785.0 846 418 363 77 220 490
Career (majors) 6 6 5.35 51 9 0 104.1 120 66 62 13 45 67


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