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Conlin connects again

He's still a jerk, but the old man is on a roll: 

During a winter conversation [...] I mentioned a college pitcher with the Clearwater Threshers last season, Drew Carpenter, who won 19 games, including two in the Florida State League Championship Series. "Don't know much about him," Charlie said. "Our people say he don't throw that hard."

So that brings us to nonroster Drew Carpenter shutting out a Yankees varsity lineup Wednesday in a mature, four-inning, six-strikeout relief appearance.

Here's a capsule summary of why the Phillies have had the worst pitcher development track record in baseball history:

Carpenter was not put on the 40-man roster despite winning more games than any '07 minor league pitcher. Why? Apparently, Andrew gained too much offseason weight, which raises this question: How did John Kruk ever get invited to spring training? Or Tony Gwynn? Thus, Carpenter was not invited to major league spring training. Thus, Charlie Manuel had to wait until the final Bright House Field exhibition to find out what many already knew: The big guy from Long Beach State really knows how to pitch. Unfortunately, whichever incompetent signed off on this blunder will keep his job. A higher-level incompetent will make sure of that.

Now, here's the irony: The 2007 Paul Owens Award for top minor league pitcher was won by Michael Zagurski, a fat lefthander with the worst body in the organization.

Carpenter--who should have won the Owens award that somehow went to Zagurski-- might or might not get to Philadelphia before the all-star break. He might or might not take a role similar to what Kyle Kendrick did last year, and might or might not have a similar level of success. But the organization's baffling decision to keep the kid away from big-league camp--cutting off his torso to spite the whole body--means that the manager and his staff will eventually make that decision with less complete information than they should have.

 The line on Carpenter, a second-round pick from the 2006 draft, has always been that he has middling stuff but "knows how to pitch." This is sort of the opposite of the classic "projectable" Phils pitching prospect, who boasts superior stuff but questionable command and mound demeanor; based on his spring performance, Josh Outman is a decent representative of this type. The problem is that you don't want to throw that guy, with his longer developmental path, into the fire when Adam Eaton proves beyond any remaining doubt that he stinks; you want someone with a lower ceiling but a higher floor. Like Drew Carpenter. 

I need not add what Kyle Lohse did yesterday, right?