Phillies Midseason Report
It's a tough call here, with the high Class A Clearwater battery of righthander Jarred Cosart and catcher Sabastian Valle both deserving consideration. Cosart gets the nod after going 4-0, 1.95 in six starts in May. Cosart signed with the Phils for $550,000 just before the signing deadline, after being selected in the 38th round of the 2008 draft out of Clear Creek High in League City, Texas.
Cosart, 21, missed time in the second half last season with a tender elbow but has come back all the way. He features a mid-90s fastball with lots of life, a hard-breaking curveball and an improving changeup. He was 6-5, 3.15 in his first 14 starts at Clearwater and had allowed just 63 hits in 80 innings.
Biggest leap forward:
Righthander Jonathan Pettibone added 15 pounds of good pitching muscle to his 6-foot-5 frame in the offseason. The added strength helped him record a 1.75 ERA in his first 10 starts at Clearwater and win a spot on the Florida State League all-star team. He was 7-5, 2.91 after 15 starts. Pettibone, 21, was a third-rounder in 2008. He has made excellent strides with his changeup, which complements his slider and a fastball that touches the mid-90s. Pettibone also has impressed with his intelligence and feel for pitching.
The Phils are high on righthander Brody Colvin, who passed on a chance to pitch at Louisiana State after being picked in the seventh round in 2009. Colvin, 20, has stuff that compares favorably with Cosart's, but he has experienced growing pains in the first half with Clearwater, going 1-3, 4.16 in his first 12 appearances—11 starts—while allowing 67 hits in 63 innings. Colvin, 20, was slowed out of the gate by a back strain, and Phils officials believe he has the makeup to grow from this adversity. His peripherals are solid enough with 43 strikeouts and 22 walks.
• Looking for starting pitching depth in the system, the Phillies signed veteran righthander Tim Redding and assigned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley where he got off to an 0-3, 5.57 start in 21 innings.
• Righthander Drew Carpenter, waived from the 40-man roster in spring training, was promoted to Philadelphia in late June. He made the switch from starter to reliever and posted a 1.58 ERA in 24 games at Lehigh Valley before joining the big league bullpen.