J.A. Happ would ideally be in the Phillies starting rotation, but the young left-hander has been a good soldier, working out of relief for the Phillies. His first start of the season was supposed to come against Washington, but as manager Charlie Manuel searched for some relief help in Friday night's extra inning marathon against Washington, he found Happ.
Happ (2-0, 2.49) wound up throwing two shutout innings Friday night and picked up the win against the Nationals.
While Happ was pitching, speculation about who would replace him for Saturday night's start was circulating. Kyle Kendrick (2-2, 3.75) seemed to be the odds-on-favorite, especially considering that Saturday was his scheduled start for Lehigh Valley, which would have kept him on his regular schedule.
Instead, the Phillies will turn to Andrew Carpenter (1-0, 4.72), who last started for Lehigh Valley on May 8.
The move is interesting, since Carpenter has struggled through his last two starts, in which he's posted a 6.54 ERA. Prior to those starts, Carpenter was 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA and had seemingly overcome a couple of rough starts that opened the season.
Kendrick is also coming off a bad start - his worst of the season - that saw him give up six earned runs in five innings of work. Before that start though, Kendrick was pitching better than he had in a long time and had just a 2.61 ERA for the IronPigs.
Carpenter was on the Phillies expanded roster last September and pitched on shutout inning in relief for the Phillies in his major league debut.
With the addition of Carpenter, the Phillies needed to open a roster spot.
Infielder Miguel Cairo, who was hitting just .118 in 15 games with the Phillies was designated for assignment by the Phillies, opening a roster spot for Carpenter. Cairo's claim to fame in his short Phillies career was going 0-for-5 to start the season and doing so by seeing just five pitches.
|Pablo Ozuna could find himself joining the Phillies to replace Miguel Cairo, who was designated for assignment after Friday night's game. Ozuna is a career .282 hitter in the majors and is hitting .280 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season.|
(Photo: Philly Baseball News)
It's likely that there will be another roster move after Saturday night's game and it's also likely that Carpenter's stay with the big league club will last for just one game. Carpenter will exit the roster and likely be replaced by another infielder to replace Cairo. Who that will be is up in the air, but it doesn't figure to be highly touted prospect Jason Donald, who is working to learn both second and third base to add to his resume as a prospect at shortstop. Odds are that veteran major leaguer Pablo Ozuna will get the call from Lehigh Valley. Ozuna is hitting .280 at Lehigh Valley and is a career .282 hitter in the majors through seven seasons with four different clubs.
As for Cairo, he could be claimed by another team on waivers, but that - or a trade - are not likely. After that, the decision will be his on whether or not to accept a minor league assignment. If he doesn't accept the assignment, there would be another opening at Lehigh Valley, which would lead to a few other possibilities.