When the Phillies promoted Carlos Carrasco to Double-A Reading last June, the righthander struggled.
Carrasco appeared in 14 games for Reading last year and finished with a 4.86 ERA, 46 walks and 49 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings. Of course, Carrasco was only 20 years old and still loaded with potential.
This year some of that potential is starting to develop into better present ability. Back with Reading again this season, Carrasco has a 3.71 ERA and a 79-30 K-BB ratio in 80 innings. Yesterday Carrasco struck out seven, walked two and allowed three runs (only one was an earned run) in 6 1/3 innings. It was the sixth time in Carrasco’s 13 appearances that he has recorded at least seven strikeouts.
"The changeup is his out pitch," Reading manager P.J. Forbes said. "He can put righties or lefties away with it, which makes it a special pitch. He knows when to use it and when to get himself out of a jam with it. It’s a nice weapon that he can have against guys from both sides of the plate. You complement that with (a) 92-94 (mph fastball) and a good breaking ball, in my mind, he’s got a chance to dominate when it all comes together."
Carrasco’s curveball has always been his third pitch, taking a backdoor to his lively low-90s fastball that has touched 94-95 mph and a plus changeup with good depth and fade. The curveball has shown plus potential, but has been inconsistent in terms of effectiveness.
"He can roll one in there for a strike or he can use it as a strikeout pitch," Forbes said. "For me thats the biggest difference I see from last year to this year is the depth and tightness of the breaking ball. The changeup and fastball were great last year, but the breaking ball for me has come the furthest. I’ve seen him buckle righties and lefties with it."