Sunday, February 7, 2016

Blanton to start next Thursday

PITTSBURGH — It turns out the Phillies will not completely skip Joe Blanton in the rotation.

Blanton to start next Thursday

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Joe Blanton will get his first start of the season April 12 against the Marlins. (Michael Bryant/Staff Photographer)
Joe Blanton will get his first start of the season April 12 against the Marlins. (Michael Bryant/Staff Photographer)

PITTSBURGH — It turns out the Phillies will not completely skip Joe Blanton in the rotation.

Blanton will pitch in the team's sixth game, April 12 against Miami, pitching coach Rich Dubee said. Late in spring training, Dubee discussed the idea of skipping Blanton so he could keep the rest of his rotation on a regular schedule given the plethora of off days built into the early season schedule.

The Phillies didn't need a fifth starter until April 15, but Dubee didn't like the idea of Blanton sitting around, so he changed it. The schedule looks like this now:

Thursday: Roy Halladay
Friday: OFF
Saturday @PIT: Cliff Lee
Sunday @PIT: Vance Worley
Monday vs. MIA: Cole Hamels
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday vs. MIA: Roy Halladay
Thursday vs. MIA: Joe Blanton
Friday vs. NYM: Cliff Lee
Saturday vs. NYM: Vance Worley
Sunday vs. NYM: Cole Hamels

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This also explains why the Phillies decided to carry 12 pitchers on their initial roster. Blanton isn't really an option from the bullpen if he's starting in a week.

>>> Scott Podsednik, who was a late cut by the Phillies, has yet to report to triple-A Lehigh Valley. He was placed on the temporary inactive list, which typically covers three days. A team source said Podsednik intends to report but had personal issues that required attention. Podsednik is contractually obligated to report to triple A. He can ask for his release, but the Phillies do not have to grant it.

>>> Over in Allentown, there was late change in their opening day pitcher. Dave Bush was suspended five games by Major League Baseball for his involvement in a benches-clearing indcident during minor-league spring training. It was started by a series of beanballs from Phillies and Pirates minor leaguers.

Dubee said there was video circulating on YouTube of the initial incident not involving Bush. Thanks to Baseball Betsy, we've found said video. Warning, there is inappropriate language.

Our favorite part of the video is Ryne Sandberg dashing from the third-base coaches box to the opposing dugout to confront the Pirates manager.


Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.

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