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News » Phillies Notes: Kendrick and Carrasco are improving at triple A

Phillies Notes: Kendrick and Carrasco are improving at triple A

Phillies Notes: Kendrick and Carrasco are improving at triple A
The development of Kyle Kendrick and Carlos Carrasco , and John Mayberry Jr. 's prodigious power were among the most compelling spring-training story lines for the Phillies this year.

Toward the end of camp, all were demoted to triple-A Lehigh Valley and given specific plans for improvement. While Mayberry has struggled, the pitchers have performed well, although pitching coach Rich Dubee said yesterday that both young righthanders still needed work.

Kendrick, 24, is 1-1 with a 2.40 earned run average and eight strikeouts in 15 innings. When he was sent to minor-league camp, he was told to work on his change-up, which would enable him to pitch more effectively against lefthanded batters (lefties batted .334 against Kendrick last season, compared to .271 by righties).

"He was told in no uncertain terms what to work on," Dubee said. "He knows the plan. He's throwing the change-up enough, but as far as strikes and balls, he still has some work to do."

Carrasco is 0-1 with a 2.37 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 19 innings. Manager Charlie Manuel and Dubee said in March that the 22-year-old was not yet confident or aggressive enough. "We talked to him about attacking the strike zone more," Dubee said. "He's working on that, and on his change-up. . . . but I think Carlos is very close."

Mayberry blasted several long home runs in Clearwater, intriguing the team that acquired him from the Texas Rangers for Greg Golson during the off-season. But after a hot start, he finished the Grapefruit League season with a .246 batting average and a .288 on-base percentage. Mayberry has continued to struggle in the minor leagues, batting .211 with a .302 on-base percentage and two home runs in his first 10 games.

"At the end of spring training, he starting trying too hard, rather than trusting his ability," said hitting coach Milt Thompson . Thompson and Manuel made an adjustment to Mayberry's stance early in camp, moving his front foot farther from home plate. This was designed to allow Mayberry to make more consistent contact, and it worked for several weeks.

But as late-spring cuts grew closer, Mayberry regressed, according to Thompson. "We're creatures of habit," the coach said. "It takes a while, but I think he'll be fine."

Park secure for now After a stellar spring training that enabled him to win the fifth spot in the Phillies' starting rotation over Kendrick, Carrasco, and J.A. Happ, Chan Ho Park has struggled in two starts, posting an 8.68 ERA. In 72/3 innings of relief, Happ's ERA is 2.35.

Yesterday, Dubee said that Park's rotation spot is not in jeopardy, but the coach is unsure if his 35-year-old righthander can pitch deep into games all season.

"I don't like to jump to conclusions real fast," Dubee said. "If I did, I don't know how many of our guys would still be in the rotation. But Chan Ho pitched better the second time out."

Park has not made 35 starts since 2001, a statistic of which Dubee is well aware. "I'm still waiting to see" if he can do that this year, Dubee said.

Marson's outlook Catcher Lou Marson made his third start last night after going 3 for 6 in his first two games. The 22-year-old was called up April 11 after Carlos Ruiz went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his side. Despite the catcher's early success with the Phils, Manuel said that Marson would be best served by returning to triple A and playing every day once Ruiz returns.

"He still needs at-bats," Manuel said. "He is in the stage right now where he is going to get better."

Ruiz caught in the bullpen for the second straight day and reported no pain. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday but will play at least four rehabilitation games before returning to the Phils, Manuel said.

Contact staff writer Andy Martino at 215-854-4874


Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 23, 2009

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