Just a weekend away from the start of the regular season and the Phillies have their first bit of bad news. Starter Joe Blanton will hit the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle. Matt Gelb of the Inquirer tweeted the news first (he gets a gold star), and the timetable for a return is 3 to 6 weeks. Step on up, Kyle Kendrick.
“It’s not if you need more starting pitching, it’s when.” Truer words have never been spoken, and that just goes to show you how fragile starting pitching is in this league. Yesterday’s signing of veteran Josh Fogg now looks like a smart move as the injury bug has stricken the Phillies early on in the 2010 season.
Blanton has been a beacon of consistency, never starting less than 30 games in a season during his five full years in the major leagues. He’ll now have a tough recovery ahead as oblique injuries tend to linger on, which is why it seems the Phillies have put six weeks at the high end of his comeback date.
UPDATE, 12:58 pm: According to Gelb, Brad Lidge and JC Romero have also been sent to the disabled list retroactive to March 26th. That means they would both be eligible to come off the DL on April 10, if healthy. Let’s hope they are.