CITIZENS BANK PARK -- Following yesterday's long and ugly 14-inning affair, the Phillies could use a couple of fresh arms in their bullpen. David Herndon can only walk batters for so many innings. So it's welcomed news that Joe Blanton has been activated from the 60-day DL this afternoon in time for the Braves three-game set in Philadelphia.
Kyle Kendrick was also activated from the paternity-leave list so the Phils will have two guys who can handle plenty of work out of the 'pen. That said, Cliff Lee is tonight's scheduled starter, so the pen may get the night off.
Blanton is somewhat of the forgotten man this season. He hasn't pitched for the Phils since way back in mid-May, and Vance Worley has stepped in as a more than adequate fifth starter, so it wasn't like fans were clamoring for Joe the Lumber to get back into the rotation.
He made only one rehab start with Lakewood over the weekend so it wasn't like we saw this move coming for a while. At many points this summer, many believed Blanton's season was over.
Charlie Manuel said before the game tonight that he'd like to be able to work Blanton in to a game under ideal circumstances, but if they need to throw him in in a tight spot, he won't shy away from him.
Blanton's only had that one rehab start during which he pitched one inning. So he'll be limited to an inning or perhaps two.
"The most I've thrown in a rehab game the other day was 11 pitches," Blanton said.
"That's all I have to base off right now. Usually you can take that for
at least another inning I would imagine."
How Charlie plans to use Blanton out of the pen remains to be seen, and Blanton's not entirely sure himself.
"I'm just going to go out there and be ready at all times."
"I'm glad to be able to come back and hopefully be able to help the team a little bit," Blanton said.