MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- It's hard what to exactly make of the situation surrounding Joe Blanton.
Blanton says his right elbow is still cranky, but it's not a big deal. Rich Dubee says his pitcher is not 100 percent. But Blanton felt good enough to complete a light bullpen session Wednesday and the Phillies see that as progress. So, for now, Blanton is on track to start Saturday's game in Atlanta.
Is there any thought to just letting Blanton rest until he is fully healthy because it is, after all, only May?
"We'll see," Dubee said.
Blanton missed 16 days with an elbow impingement and allowed three runs in five innings against Florida on Monday. Dubee said the Phillies athletic training staff has OKed Blanton to pitch, but admitted the team isn't exactly sure what is causing the discomfort in Blanton's elbow.
Blanton said the positive is the pain did not worsen from his start to the bullpen like it did before going on the disabled list. So is this something he will have to deal with all season?
"Hopefully not, but I don't know," Blanton said. "Hopefully not. Maybe for a little bit. We're doing everything possible so I don't have to."
Is there a scenario in which Blanton could miss Saturday's start?
"He could say otherwise if all of a sudden he feels more discomfort," Dubee said. "But he feels like he's able to pitch right now. He's got to tell us. He's got to be honest with us. He said it wasn't any different from the other night."
If he does pitch against the Braves and displays more ineffectiveness, then the questiosn will mount.
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