Results tagged ‘ Joe Blanton ’

Polanco, Blanton and Heilman Updates

The Phillies resume play tomorrow night against the Padres, but a few things happened today:

  • They said Placido Polanco received injections in his back. They will see how he responds over the next couple days. He has been on the DL since July 4.
  • Joe Blanton is headed to Philadelphia to have his right elbow evaluated by team physician Michael Ciccotti.
  • The Phillies agreed to terms on a Minor League deal with right-hander Aaron Heilman. He will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.


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Injury Updates from Toronto

Greetings from Toronto.

A few injury updates for everybody:

  • Cole Hamels (bruised right hand) played catch this morning at Rogers Centre. He said he felt much better. “I’m good,” he said, flexing and moving his right hand to show the improvement. Hamels said he plans to throw a bullpen session tomorrow and make his scheduled start Tuesday in Florida. He said he normally would have thrown a bullpen session today, but the Phillies pushed it back to give the hand a chance to heal.
  • Ryan Madson (bruised right hand) played catch this morning. Rich Dubee said it went well. But because Madson has not pitched since June 18 there is a good chance he will need to make a rehab assignment before he is activated. So he won’t be activated Monday, when he is first eligible.
  • Roy Oswalt (lower back inflammation) received a second opinion on his back Friday in Dallas. The Phillies said spine surgeon Andrew Dossett concurred with the Phillies’ diagnosis: Oswalt has mild bulging discs in his back. Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said Oswalt will continue his prescribed treatment, which involves injections. “He should be able to begin tossing shortly there after,” Proefrock said. Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week he thinks there’s a chance Oswalt pitches before the end of the month.
  • Brad Lidge (strained right rotator cuff) threw a bullpen session yesterday in Reading. He could begin a rehab assignment early next week.
  • Joe Blanton (right elbow inflammation) is playing catch today, but has not thrown off a mound.
  • Jose Contreras (strained right forearm) is “progressing.”


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Surprise, surprise: Brown Called Up

Asked last night why the Phillies would not promote Domonic Brown from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Ruben Amaro Jr. said, “We don’t think he’s ready to do it.”

His opinion changed over night.

The Phillies recalled Brown to replace Shane Victorino, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. They also optioned Scott Mathieson and recalled David Herndon. I’m guessing the Phillies needed a fresh arm following a bullpen game last night against the Rockies, which is why Mathieson is out and Herndon is in. When the Phillies place Joe Blanton on the DL next week, I think Herndon goes back down and Vance Worley comes back up.


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Blanton’s Velocity Down, Victorino Hurting

A few random notes/thoughts on yesterday’s 5-3 loss to the Braves:

  • Joe Blanton still feels soreness in his right elbow, but he said afterward it has improved from his last start. But there is no mistaking his velocity is down. His fastball averaged roughly 86 mph today. Its average is 89 mph for the season. “Blanton isn’t throwing 90-plus anymore,” Chipper Jones said. “He threw a couple balls over the plate in the first inning. But after that not a whole lot. He stayed on the corners. He’s got a really good changeup. But he’s got a really good changeup because he throws 90 or 91. I only saw a couple 88 or 89s today. Most of them were 85, 86, or 87.”
  • Shane Victorino left the game with soreness in his right hamstring. He will not play tomorrow. He said he hopes a little rest will be enough, but leg injuries are tricky. If he flat out pulls it he could miss a significant period of time. I’m sure the Phillies want him to be smart.
  • Ben Francisco is hitting .071 (2-for-28) with six walks and six strikeouts since May 1. Braves right-hander Tim Hudson pitches in today’s series finale. Maybe today is a good time for Ross Gload to start. John Mayberry Jr. could be starting in center field with Victorino out. He has hit .250 (5-for-20) with one RBI against right-handers this season, but if he can show Charlie Manuel he can hit right-handers maybe he can earn a little more playing time when Victorino comes back.


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Blanton Still Not 100 Percent

Joe Blanton pitched tonight for the first time since April 23 because of a medial impingement in his right elbow.

He still felt it.

“I think it’s still a little cranky,” Rich Dubee said. “But at the same time I think he’s a little rusty, too. We’ll see. He’s definitely not 100 percent. He says it’s pitchable. There are certain pitches that at times he’ll feel it, and at other times he won’t. We’ll see.”

Dubee said he is not concerned.

“We’ll see what he feels like tomorrow,” he said. “Tomorrow and his side day will be good tests for him.”

Blanton allowed eight hits, three runs, two walks and struck out two in five innings. It certainly seemed like the elbow bothered him.

How did it feel in his first start back?

“Not bad,” he said. “I was a little rusty in the first couple, but I kind of cleaned up after that.”

Did he feel anything in the elbow?

“First outing back is always a little bit different,” he said. “Trying to clean up my mechanics a little bit. It’s going to feel a little bit different to start off.”

Any pain?

“It was OK,” he said. “I was able to go out and pitch.”


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A Crowded DL: Been There, Done That

The injuries are piling up for the Phillies, although Ruben Amaro Jr. said last night Carlos Ruiz won’t be placed on the DL today because of a back problem.

That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It just won’t happen today. But the DL already is crowded with Chase Utley, Brad Lidge, Jose Contreras, Joe Blanton, J.C. Romero, Domonic Brown and Brian Bocock

The Phillies should be used to this. I pictured players checking their iPads or phones last night and shrugging their shoulders at the latest DL news, if they hadn’t heard already.

“Blanton’s on the DL? Damn. OK.”

The Phillies have travelled this road before:

  • 2007: They used 46 players, including 28 pitchers (some of those players included Chris Roberson, Pete LaForest, Russell Branyan, Yoel Hernandez, Anderson Garcia, Kane Davis, John Ennis, Joe Bisenius, Zack Segovia and Matt Smith).
  • 2008: They used 40 players, including 18 pitchers (Brad Harman, Andy Tracy, Chris Snelling, R.J. Swindle, Les Walrond and Andrew Carpenter).
  • 2009: They used 41 players, including 22 pitchers (Rodrigo Lopez, Paul Hoover, Sergio Escalona and Steven Register).
  • 2010: They used 42 players, including 21 pitchers (Cody Ransom, Dane Sardinha, Brian Bocock, Nate Robertson, Scott Mathieson and Nelson Figueroa).

The Phillies handled the injuries every time. Nobody can say they will handle them this year, but it explains why nobody in the clubhouse is panicked, either.


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Blanton to the DL

The Phillies have lost one of their five starting pitchers to an injury.

They placed Joe Blanton on the 15-day disabled list today with a medial impingement in his right elbow. The move is retroactive to April 24, which means Blanton can be activated no earlier than May 9. The severity of the injury is unknown. Phillies officials could not be reached for comment.

Right-hander Vance Worley will be recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and will pitch Friday against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Blanton is 0-1 with a 5.92 ERA in four starts this season, although he had a 2.57 ERA in his last two starts. Worley is 2-2 with a 2.78 ERA in four starts this season with the IronPigs.

Carlos Ruiz left yesterday’s game in Arizona because of a back injury. Ruiz expressed his concern to reporters after the game, but he is not expected to land on the DL.

Even without Ruiz on the DL, the Phillies have quite a lengthy list of injured players: Chase Utley, Brad Lidge, Jose Contreras, J.C. Romero and Blanton.


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No Surprise: Rotation Remains In Order

The Phillies postponed last night’s game because of rain. It turned out to be a good decision, considering I couldn’t see outside my windows because of the storm. But within seconds of the announcement I got a ton of questions from folks wondering if the Phillies planned to skip Joe Blanton in the rotation.

My first reaction: Why would they do that?

First, the obvious. Roy Oswalt had to leave Friday’s game because of a strained lower back. How much sense would it make to skip Blanton not knowing if Oswalt will pitch Wednesday? It very clearly makes more sense to keep everybody in order, which gives the Phillies an extra day to make a decision on Oswalt (and Oswalt an extra day to rest his back).

Second, Blanton has struggled in just two starts. Two. They need him to make 30-plus starts this season, so it makes absolutely no sense to skip him in April. Plus, what message does that send Blanton? Uh, Joe, we know it’s April and we know it’s just two starts, but we’re skipping you to keep Roy Halladay on his normal day. I know fans with tickets to Monday wanted to see Halladay pitch, but the Phillies are looking at the big picture. Keeping everybody in order in April might keep everybody a little fresher come October.

So the Phillies’ rotation looks like this:

  • Today vs. Marlins: Cole Hamels
  • Monday vs. Brewers: Joe Blanton
  • Tuesday vs. Brewers: Roy Halladay
  • Wednesday vs. Brewers: Cliff Lee
  • Thursday at San Diego: Roy Oswalt

Like postponing last night’s game, they made the right (and only) call.


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The Top of the Fifth Inning Tonight

Yes, the top of the fifth inning tonight got out of hand very quickly.

  • Jose Reyes: second-pitch single.
  • Willie Harris: fifth-pitch walk.
  • David Wright: second-pitch single.
  • Carlos Beltran: first-pitch single.
  • Angel Pagan: second-pitch single.
  • Ike Davis: first-pitch double.
  • Brad Emaus: four-pitch walk.


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Your Early Spring Training Rotation

The Phillies posted their pitching schedule for their first four Grapefruit League games, and as it lines up their rotation to open the 2011 season will be in the following order: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton.

Here it is:

  • Saturday @ Yankees: Hamels, Vance Worley, Ryan Feierabend, Brian Schlitter and Mike Zagurski.
  • Sunday vs. Yankees: Blanton, Justin DeFratus, Michael Schwimer, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge.
  • Feb. 28 @ Blue Jays: Halladay, J.C. Ramirez, Michael Stutes, Juan Perez and Scott Mathieson.
  • March 1 vs. Tigers: Lee, Kyle Kendrick, Eddie Bonine, Dan Meyer, Danys Baez and Zagurski.

I assume Oswalt will pitch March 2 vs. Baltimore.

Drew Naylor will start Thursday against Florida State at Bright House Field. Also scheduled to face the Seminoles are Bonine, Perez, Stutes, Schwimer, DeFratus and Mathieson. Bonine also is scheduled to pitch Saturday in a “B” game against the Blue Jays in Clearwater.


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