Notes from minor league camp

While there are still a few positions to be determined at the major league level, prospects are also fighting for jobs at the Phillies minor league complex in Clearwater.

Possibly the biggest news out of the minor league complex comes from pitcher Andrew Carpenter. After struggling through much of the 2008 season and continuing with those struggles while in camp with the big league club, all eyes were on Carpenter when minor league games began.

On Tuesday, Carpenter turned in his second straight strong outing for the Triple-A squad. In a game that turned out to be a 16-8 slugfest, Carpenter opened the game with 4 2/3 scoreless innings. Carpenter allowed just three hits and no walks, while striking out six hitters in the outing.

In his two starts, Carpenter has allowed just one earned run in 8 2/3 innings (1.04 ERA), giving up just six hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.

A rejuvenated Carpenter would be a great sign for the Phillies, who had to be at least a bit concerned about one of the top pitchers in the organization.

Meanwhile, offensively, the big man at the complex is Kevin Mahar, who is now hitting .500 (8-for-16) in spring minor league games. Mahar took advantage of the slugfest Tuesday to go 4-for-4 with a triple, home run and four RBI. Mahar also drew a walk and not only reached base every time he came to the plate, but scored a run each time as well for five runs on the day.

Mahar is ticketed to start the season at Double-A Reading, especially after the spring numbers that he's putting up so far.

Arlon Quiroz hit his fourth home run of the spring, providing surprising power for the Low-A squad. Not known for his power, Quiroz is 22 and figures to start the season in the Lakewood outfield.

Other notes: Chris Kissock threw two scoreless innings for the High-A squad... Tyler Cloyd struck out four in three scoreless innings for the Low-A squad... Harold Garcia had three hits and scored a run for the High-A team.

Outta here...
The Phillies made some cuts from their minor league camp, releasing several players recently. The biggest name of the group was right-hander Ben Pfinsgraff who pitched at both Lakewood and Clearwater in each of the last two seasons and has battled injuries throughout his time with the Phillies.

Other players released included: catchers Josh Arhart, Joe Blackburn and Alan Robbins. Infielders Herman Demmink, Bryan Frew and Daniel Hargrave. Pitchers Dustin Cameron, Jorge Crespo, Moises Melendez and Sean Thompson.



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