Jul 292010

July 29 Philadelphia Daily News

 “Two members of the Phillies organization laughed when told of the latest rumor sweeping through cyberspace yesterday – that lefthander J.A. Happ was involved in talks for Cubs lefthander Ted Lilly.

Lilly, a free agent after the 2010 season, would be a 2-month rental. Happ, meanwhile, has at least 4 years until he reaches free agency.

But while the Phillies are not willing to pay a premium price for a rental player, one person familiar with the Phillies’ thinking said yesterday that the team has been readying backup plans in case they are unable, or unwilling, to pull the trigger on a deal for Astros righthander Roy Oswalt before Saturday’s trade deadline. (Late last night, ESPN.com was reporting that talks for Oswalt were intensifying.) While Lilly might be an option, Indians righthander Fausto Carmona was definitely a blip on the Phillies’ radar.

The Phillies had a scout at Carmona’s start last night against the Yankees in Cleveland. The 26-year-old righthander had recorded quality starts in eight of his 10 outings before last night.

Carmona (10-7, 3.92 ERA) has thrown at least six innings in 17 of his 21 starts.

But he was hit hard by the Yankees, allowing seven runs on 10 hits in just 2 2/3 innings before he was pulled.

Previously, his worst start came at Citizens Bank Park on June 24, when the Phillies scored seven runs, five earned, off him in four innings of a 12-3 victory.

Carmona isn’t a strikeout pitcher – he’s averaging five strikeouts and 3.5 walks per nine innings this season – but he has an excellent groundball rate and has allowed just seven home runs.”

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