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Youth That Can Help Phils Down The Stretch

Youth. It has helped great teams through pennant races and the playoffs. Look at recent World Series winners and you’ll see countless examples:

  • 2007 Red Sox: Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia
  • 2006 Cardinals: Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, Chris Duncan
  • 2005 White Sox: Bobby Jenks, Juan Uribe, Brandon McCarthy
  • 2004 Red Sox: Kevin Youkilis

The list goes on. Basically, young studs can really help a ballclub win late. They offer new looks other teams haven’t yet seen, along with assorted floating things such as enthusiasm and character.

The Phillies have a couple young studs swimming near the top of the farm system. These guys could possibly give the big club a boost late. Let’s look at who could step in now or Sept. 1 (just two weeks away):

JA Happ
Happ we all should know by now. He had a couple appearances this season, and pitched pretty well in his two starts. After being shuffled from Philadelphia to Lehigh Valley and back again, he’ll be with the club once Sept. 1 rolls around. If Kyle Kendrick has one more poor start, chances are Happ would slide into his spot in the rotation.

Carlos Carrasco
Ahh, Mr. Carrasco. The No. 1 prospect has been dominant in AAA, putting up an 0.48 ERA in three starts for the IronPigs. He has struck out 22 in his 18.2 innings, walking just six. It’s very possible he’ll make the big league roster, but where would he fit? Maybe as a power arm out of the bullpen.

Jason Jaramillo
The Phillies are showing interest in David Ross, but Jaramillo could be an extra catcher called up on Sept. 1. He’s exactly where he has been for his career — 7 HR, 32 RBI, .256 AVG in Lehigh Valley. While he isn’t much of an improvement over Carlos Ruiz, he’s a different look.

Jason Donald
Currently in Beijing with the U.S. Olympic team, Donald has had a fine year at AA Reading. Hitting .308 with 14 HR and 54 RBI, the 23-year-old is about ready to make his impression on the majors. He could provide the kind of right-handed infield bat the Phils aren’t necessarily getting with Eric Bruntlett.

Greg Golson
A tough one, Golson can hit, but only when it’s not a strikeout. Though he has 97 of those in 309 at bats, he has hit 10 HR with 44 RBI. And his 19 SB don’t hurt either. Factor in his great arm and fielding, and do we really need So Taguchi out there?

While these five could give the Phillies some added depth and new looks toward the end of the season, none will probably offer the kind of contribution like the Sox got with their young guys last season. But it’s worth giving these guys a shot, especially with such static, sad offense and limping, tiring pitching.

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