The dark clouds that moved through the area Thursday were not nearly as ominous as the injury cloud that is hanging directly over the Phillies right now.
More bad news came the team's way Thursday afternoon when the Phillies announced that righthander Joe Blanton was being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right medial impingement of the right elbow.
Blanton (0-1 with a 5.92 ERA) had put together consecutive strong starts after two poor ones to open the season and was scheduled to pitch Friday's series opener against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park.
The righthander offered a hint that somthing was amiss after his last start in San Diego. His velocity was down an average of 2 m.p.h. and afterward, despite allowing two runs in seven innings, Blanton wasn't pleased.
"I didn't feel like I had my best stuff," he said.
His turn in the rotation will be taken by Vance Worley, who is 2-2 with a 2.78 ERA at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In five appearances at the big-league level last season, Worley was 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA and struck out 12 batters in 13 innings.
Impingements are more common in the shoulder, but there are a few recent examples of elbow impingements that show a variety of timetables.
It caused Giants pitcher Noah Lowry to miss one start in 2006 (he, of course, only pitched one more season in professional baseball after that, retiring at age 26). Bartolo Colon missed 53 days because of an elbow impingement in 2007. And Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter needed surgery for an elbow impingement that forced him to miss all of 2007, except for his first and only start opening day.
A Phillies spokesman said the team had no update on either Roy Oswalt or Carlos Ruiz. Oswalt left the team to be with his family in tornado-ravaged Mississippi after Tuesday's game in Phoenix and Ruiz left Wednesday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks with a sore back. The team spokesman said an update is expected on those two players Friday.
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