CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The World Series champions have more arms on the way.
Top pitching prospects Carlos Carrasco and J.A. Happ each tossed two shutout innings for the Philadelphia Phillies in their 6-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday."These are two kids that want to show everybody they're hungry. They want to be in the big leagues," Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz said. "That's good. I like it. I like how comfortable they looked on the mound."Carrasco dazzled, retiring all six hitters he faced. Happ, a lefty, followed with two quick innings of his own. Both are competing for the fifth spot in the rotation with Chan Ho Park and Kyle Kendrick."They did pretty good," manager Charlie Manuel said. "That's what (pitching coach Rich) Dubee and I want to see."Two right-handed relievers fighting for a roster spot didn't fare as well. After Carrasco and Happ handed over a 1-0 lead, Justin Lehr gave up back-to-back home runs in the fifth to Travis Snider and Jason Lane.In the eighth, with the score tied 2-all, Toronto scored four times off Blaine Neal. Scott Campbell's three-run double keyed the decisive rally, dropping the World Series champs to 0-2 in Grapefruit League competition."We're not sharp," Manuel said. "But we'll get there."The Phillies were more concerned with how Carrasco and Happ would respond to their first auditions of spring training. Both youngsters did well.After opening-day festivities at Bright House Field, Carrasco struck out the first two batters of the game. The 21-year-old Venezuela native fired a pair of 1-2-3 innings and finished with three strikeouts."I felt comfortable," said Carrasco, who has pitched only six games above Double-A. "I threw all three pitches -- curveball, fastball, changeup -- for strikes. I felt good."Happ, who was 1-0 with a 2.28 ERA in four starts with the Phillies last year, showed off the same dependability that landed him on the postseason roster in 2008. The 26-year-old followed Carrasco with a perfect inning of his own in the third and retired three of the four Toronto hitters he faced in the fourth."You definitely obviously want to start out good," Happ said. "At the same time, it's early. Hitters might not be used to breaking balls and what not. Hopefully I can build on this and keep going."Kendrick, who has won 21 games since June 2007, is scheduled to throw Saturday against Tampa Bay in a World Series rematch. Park, who signed with the Phillies on the condition he'd be given an opportunity to start, is scheduled to pitch Sunday against Atlanta."We've gotten to the point right now where everybody needs a couple games to get their feet wet. Then, you really start zeroing in on guys," Dubee said. "The time will come when people are playing their regular lineup. The Happs, the Carrascos, the Kendricks, the Parks, they'll go through lineups two or three times."That's what you need to see. Right now, it's a matter of getting their reps in and make sure we're heading in the right direction."Blue Jays starter Scott Richmond tossed a pair of hitless innings.
Phillies 1B Ryan Howard, who agreed to a $54 million, three-year deal this month, is 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in his first two exhibition games. Phillies outfielder John Mayberry, a former first-round draft pick acquired in an offseason trade with Texas, was 1-for-3 with a run. He also made a nifty catch, leaping on the right-field wall in the second inning.