Blanton could face hitters soon - plus other notes

Phillies starter Joe Blanton's right elbow has been problematic since April. (Alan Diaz/AP)

Talking to Joe Blanton throughout the season, it has been clear how bad he wants to get back onto the field and at least try to contribute something to this year's team. For a long time, that seemed like a long shot. But after a bullpen session today, the veteran righthander sounded like a return is in his sight. The next step is likely a bullpen session on Friday, but pitching coach Rich Dubee and the Phillies training staff are already discussing how and when to get Blanton in front of some hitters.

A minor league rehab assignment sounds unlikely. After all, the minor league season ends next week. A more likely scenario will have Blanton throwing live batting practice or a simulated game to Phillies hitters during next week's homestand. Blanton said such a move would have the benefit of hitters who are familiar with his stuff and would be able to evaluate how that stuff is playing.

Blanton has no shot at re-joining the rotation. But in a perfect world, he would give the Phillies an extra arm for the stretch run, perhaps even in time for the two doubleheaders they will play.

"Whatever they need me to do," Blanton said.

Blanton's recovery from what has been diagnosed as inflammation in his ulnar nerve has been tenuous. He's had multiple set-backs, so a return to the active roster is still hardly a sure thing. But it is much surer now than it has been in recent memory.

"I feel really good," the righthander said.


Charlie Manuel said he would recommend that the Phillies recall Domonic Brown from the minors after his season is over, despite what has been a rough month from the top prospect.

Brown went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts last night in a double header, mis-playing several balls in left field. It got so bad that fans at Coca Cola Park actually booed him.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said two days ago that he thinks Brown might be in need of a mental vacation, and said that recalling the 23-year-old once rosters expand is no sure thing. But Manuel sounds like he will lobby for it, which means Brown probably has a good shot at returning to the Phillies at some point.


 Rosters for the Arizona Fall League have been announced. Representing the Phillies will be Tyler Cloyd, Jacob Diekman, B.J. Rosenberg, Colby Shreve, Cody Overbeck, Darin Ruf and Tyson Gillies to Arizona Fall League.


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