Update: Joe Blanton Hits the DL, Lidge & Romero, too – Phillies Nation
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Update: Joe Blanton Hits the DL, Lidge & Romero, too

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.

49 Comments

49 Comments

  1. Ed R.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Geez the season has not even started yet and it’s already more painful than years previous.

  2. bfo_33

    April 1, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Thank goodness for Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick. If they pitch decently, should be no need to rush big Joe back.

  3. Geoff

    April 1, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Yeah, I wouldnt mind getting a cheap starter who may not make another rotation, someone who will be cut or DFA or waived. Just pick up a warm body to get us through a few weeks. Kendrick will do fine in the rotation. BUt they still need bullpen help. Fogg – ugh, well, he is breathing and can walk to the mound at least.

    Way too many injuries. But better now than later.

  4. NJ

    April 1, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Hate to see Big Joe go down (as I still view him as the guy Cincy almost dealt super prospect Homer Bailey and Joey Votto for) but feel really good about the rotation depth. To lose your number 3 starter and not be scraping the barrel is a rarity because the Phils still have arms in the minors like Carpenter on the verge of the majors that could step in if needed without hurting the farms progression.

    I know people will point at the Phils and say there’s question marks with Romero, Lidge and Blanton out but the Phils are a relatively full strength squad because of the experience of the role players who can step in for a few weeks.

    Our boys have come along way…

  5. psujoe

    April 1, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Look at the bright side. Plenty of room to give Herndon a serious long look to determine his true value. Also there will be a “real” eavluation period to determine the “best” 5th start now Moyer or Kendrick. Let the games begin.

  6. Chase

    April 1, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Sign Pedro Martinez

  7. WFC010

    April 1, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Nah, they aren’t going to make a move for Pedro until the summer…assuming that he hasn’t “retired” alltogether by then. He couldn’t hold up a whole season anymore, and he’s the most valuable down the stretch towards the end of the regular season.

  8. Chase

    April 1, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Joe Blanton could be out much longer than 3-6 weeks. An oblique strain is not an easy heal. Right now your rotation looks like: Halladay, Hamels, Happ, Moyer, Kendrick. One injury to that group means MORE MORE trouble. They’re too thin right now. Even with Josh Fogg.

    Not to mention our bullpen is dreadful. Pitching other than Halladay and Baez was ignored by RAJ.

    #justsayin follow me at http://www.twitter.com/chaseiam

  9. Chuck

    April 1, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Things will be fine with the depth the Phillies have. Yes, Carpenter could be an option….and this does give Herndon some time with the team until some roster decision has to be made.

    Fogg??…..uhh…I don’t know…

    Having him certainly can’t hurt at this point.

  10. Chase

    April 1, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Being that Josh Fogg is the only answer waiting in the wings if there’s another injury, that means TROUBLE.

    People are so sure about this team. I know they can win, but RAJ did a terrible job when it comes to pitching depth. He really did. Letting Chan Ho Park go and Condrey is a disgrace. They’re both ideal relievers. Antonio Bastardo and Drew Carpenter? JA Contreras? Chad Durbin?? These guys stink.

  11. Chuck

    April 1, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Chan Ho Park WAS offered a nice deal to come back….he insisted in starting….which he really can’t do….so the Phils said goodbye.

    So you can’t blame RAJ for that.

    Condrey?? He was hurt so much of last year that he was really sort of the odd man out with the relievers. I’m really not all that upset about that move.

    Carpenter: 1.13 ERA this spring
    Durbin: 2.38

    Yeah, those stats really suck.

    They’re still trying to figure out what Bastardo’s role is. My guess is situational lefty. I would think that he will be fine.

    Contreras?? Ok….maybe I’ll give you that one. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t last the entire season.

    And don’t forget….RAJ found David Herndon….. 0.77 ERA in 9 games.

    Have some phaith!!

  12. NJ

    April 1, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    How is our bullpen dreadful??? I’m so sick of seeing Phillies fans trash the bullpen because of things like we didn’t sign Brandon Lyon, Fernando Rodney and last year Kerry Wood as pseudo closers expecting every bullpen arm expect the mop-up guy to have had over 50 career saves…

    Right now Madson’s the closer, not ideal but what possible alternative was there going to be this off-season? Romero is on the DL so we have the choice of Escolona and Bastardo, two young homegrown talents that need developing not ignoring. You have a crew of Danny Baez, Jose Contreras and Chad Durbin as middle to late innings guys… COME ON! The combination of the three is amazing at it gives the Phils three veteran arms who can pitch any inning in the bullpen and all have been starters and one a full time closer, two of which can come into a game in the late innings and throw mid to high ninieties with a dirty breaking pitch. You then throw in Herndon who looks like a very nice sinker/slider guy having a great spring…

    The Phils have a very decent bullpen crew backed-up by two very good defensive catchers.

    Yes on their own some of those names aren’t sexy, might be damn right ugly but look at each guy in the role their expected to fill in combination with a great rotation thats still a top rotation 1-3 even with both Moyer and KK in there and it’s a damn good staff.

    Stop expect sub 3.00, 100k, 1.20 WHIP, no walk, double-digit saves with no blown arms everywhere in your bullpen… Start looking at the Phillies vs the opponent and even with 3 of our top pitchers on the DL this is still a very good staff.

  13. Geoff

    April 1, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Yeah well, they will just start bringing people up from the minors is something else goes wrong. I mean, why not test out one of the other starters? Carpenter, Aumont, Savery, etc for a spot start until Blanton comes back if something else goes wrong.

    I agree I am worried about their bullpen…what about Bastardo? Is he going to be up as the other lefty?

  14. Geoff

    April 1, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I do like some of their options, Contreras and Baez help add depth. I like what Bastardo could become in the pen if he develops properly, though his SPring numbers are ugly…

  15. NJ

    April 1, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I do get the concern about the bullpen but it’s not get the lifeboats out time, they have the perfect crew to weather the injuries of versatile arms and that’s all you can ask. With a bullpen you can’t have too many cooks in the kitchen otherwise everything not in the window just goes cold.

  16. The Dipsy

    April 1, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    NJ – The bullpen is poor right now. Madson has shown, so far, that he is NOT a good closer. Baez is coming off a so so season which was a return from an injury. Contreras does not wow me nor does Durbin, especially if they are both at the back of the pen. What do we know of Bastardo or Escalona? Herndon? No. The pen right now has a better chance of being an achilles heal than a strength.

    The Dipsy

  17. Don M

    April 1, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    They locked so much money into the Bullpen-guys that won us a world series, that it handucffed us a little for this year

    But still . . . I wouldn’t be a fan of the contracts given to some guys this offseason.. Brandon Lyon, etc.

    Chad Durbin has been nothing but solid since he got here.

    Romero and Lidge.. thats like $16 M this year.. you can’t replace that, you have to hope they get healthy.

    Madson hasn’t been good as a closer, but he’s be GREAT as a setup guy..

    Baez might just be the key to this bullpen… lets see how he does before we give him his “GRADE” for the year.

  18. WFC010

    April 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    We all better hope that Kendrick is even near as good as he looked during the spring, and that Happ can still hang as a good #3 starter, we’re going to need both of them to have good years.

    Our guys in the minors are not ready to be Major League starters, although we certainly DO have some guys who could be great starters for the big club within a year or 2. Either way that isn’t going to help us this year, and with Moyer quite liable for an injury…I think Amaro is going to have to find some more insurance guys.

  19. The Original Chuck P

    April 1, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Don’t close the book on Contreras… spring training is not a good measuring stick.

    The key is healthy arms… this much we know; it’s Madson in the 9th and Baez as the primary 8th inning guy.

    Beyond that, you’re rolling out Durbin, Herndon, Contreras, Kendrick and Bastardo in the early going and evaluating who is going to stick… that’s the silver lining in all of this… we get a better look at what we’ve got. Right now, the biggest problem is that Bastardo is the only lefthander out of that bunch… but throwing a few guys on the DL allows the FO to evaluate some of the lefthanded options (Flande, Zagurski and Escalona). I’m thinking they’ll go with Escalona and Flande… Zagurski might not be ready yet.

  20. psujoe

    April 1, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Keep in mind for better or worse the Phils were talking to Gaudin a short while ago. did he sign anywhere yet?

    I think the Pen is fine. Baez and Contreras were solid pick ups. Any pen that had 2 of their top 3 relievers out would love to have what the Phils have back there.

    Question: Do the Phils get any insurance money while guys are on the DL or do you have to be on IR?

  21. NJ

    April 1, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    in 2009 as a reliever Baez gave up 36 runs in 266 ABs and a .286 OBP
    in comparison Ryan Madson gave up 29 runs in 291ABs with a 3.06 OBP. Contreras gave up only 1 run in 28 AB’s as a reliever…

    Right now your 25 man roster with 12 pitchers (not including Lidge, Blanton or Romero) doesn’t change much. One of Bastardo or Escalona was going to make the opening day roster anyway and unless your going with only the 1 lefty nothing changes. If anything Herndon’s the addition to the bullpen and has a real chance to stick. If we add another starter your virtually ensuring sending Herndon back to LA in a few weeks.

    The thing is as much as insurance is nice we’re talking a mid May return with the 3 DL arms at worst. I’d expect the Phils to see whats out there on the market like was rumored with Gaudin but if you expect to see Carpenter this year and burn an option with him or another guy than destabilize the pitching staff by having to take guys off the 40 man roster now and off the 25 in May.

    The most important thing is that the Phillies are smart here, your gonna lose games and everyone in the bullpen/back of the rotation is going to blow a few games but that’s the nature of the beast, with the younger guys you’ve got to live with the growing pains now for what they could produce once their established.

  22. The Original Chuck P

    April 1, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Bastardo is a lock in the pen… the minute he struck out Giambi in the playoffs (with the bases loaded), his fate was sealed. The fact that he’s a lefty solidifies that…

    At the risk of sounding like I’m crying over spilled milk… if we still had Drabek…

  23. NJ

    April 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Gaudin signed back with the A’s

  24. NJ

    April 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    If we still had Drabek then…

    Nothing, he’s only pitched a dozen or so games above A-Ball… He’ll be unlikely to see more than a cup of coffee with the Jays this year when you look at their 40 man roster.

    He would have had to have a non-stop lights out season to have impacted the Phils this year because he’s no Lincecum, Hanson or Strasburg and can you imagine the pressure there would have been on him…

  25. Chuck

    April 1, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Again…

    look at the stats.

    Durbin, Baez, Herndon all have very good ERAs this spring. Madson’s is a little high….but I’m really not worried.

    Contreras has sort of been all over the place…..but let’s not count the veteran arm out.

    Bastardo??? Question mark….but he shoed last year that he CAN get people out.

    I wouldn’t call the “bullpen poor right now”….as Dipsy says.

  26. Chuck

    April 1, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Yeah, Baez just “might be the key to this bullpen.”

    And Durbin has been awesome. Someone earlier said something to the effect that he sucks (?????)

  27. NJ

    April 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Dipsy missed your post… You cannot expect a staring bullpen up and down and to be wowed with every name like we should chase an arm that would cost good prospects because you have your closer on the DL. Guys like Herndon, Bastardo, Escalona and Carpenter need to be broken in in the majors and that’s no 10 appearances…

    Even with Romero and Lidge out we have a better bullpen than much of the league, better and more experienced than say the Twins, Ms, Brewers, Fish and so on because in a few short weeks you get two of your 3 top arms back and you have a combination of Madson, Baez, Contreras (all hard throwers with at least one great off-speed pitch) and Durbin who just need to be consistent and even-keeled to start the season.

  28. NJ

    April 1, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Escalona/Zagurski (2nd lefty)
    Herndon (middle reliever)
    Bastardo (primary LOOGY)
    Durbin
    Contreras
    Baez
    Madson

    with Lidge and Romero returning and KK likely going to the pen when Blanton returns sometime between late April and mid May…

    Those guys can get the job done, all that matters.

  29. NJ

    April 1, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    ^(should have combined with the previous post)

    Bastardo (2nd lefty)
    Herndon or KK (last man)
    Durbin, Contreras and Baez middle relief
    Romero and Madson primary set-up
    Lidge closing

    VERY good bullpen in their roles, you have to expect the guys coming off the DL healthy to be effective.

  30. Geoff

    April 1, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Oh yeah I forgot about that! Bastardo getting Giambi with the bases loaded. I have metnally taken time off from baseball for a while now…havent really thought about it much so I could wipe the slate clean and enjoy the coming season thoroughly.

    I like Bastardo’s makeup and I feel he will be on the roster from here on out, he is no longer a tweener, despite his numbers in Spring…

    But I just meant that he could be a difference maker if he really reaches his potential as a reliever. You can never have enough power arms in the bullpen, and he definitely brings the fire.

  31. The Dipsy

    April 1, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    NJ – I hear ya. Don’t like the pen at all without Lidge and Romero. Mark my words, and I hope I’m wrong, one of those guys will not be effective this year. On and off the DL, blah blah. My back three of Baez, Madson and Contreras/Durbin. Do you want Contreras or Durbin out there in the 8th inning of a tie game pitching to a LHer? I don’t. I hope Lidge and Romero can pitch. Any time you take two of your top 2 bullpens arms out, the pen is gonna look bad. And it does. Although, I think Baez might a nice year.

    The Dipsy

  32. NJ

    April 1, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    every night no but I think Contreras (who I expect to turn in a 4.50+ERA 1.50+WHIP) will be key in keeping other guys healthy enough to be more effective by coming into games getting a lot of K’s and throw pure gas late in games he does come into. Likewise I think Durbin will be closer to the ’08 Durbin by having the support of Contreras/Baez so he can pitch more situationally. The most important thing is have two sinker/slider guys in Herndon and Durbin to go with 3 high nineties guys with hard breaking stuff in Contr/Baez/Madson and the power lefty in Bastardo. I think the combination can be very effective, look at the history of the SD or Oakland pens on a shoe-string, that’s the most important thing.

    I think if we don’t do the boo-birds thing and get off their backs in the stands these guys will turn in a fine year once its all said and done… Getting angry over individual losses and bad streaks is counterproductive unless you have guys who just flat out aren’t getting it down over the course.

  33. The Dipsy

    April 1, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    NJ – We’re from Philadelphia.

    The Dipsy

  34. psujoe

    April 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Mark my words. If the Phils need Eyre he’ll be read for an August/Spetember run.

  35. WFC010

    April 1, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    I just hope that Lidge can get his velocity back by the time he’s taken off the DL, or else we may have some serious issues. But i’m freaking serious, if he tries any of that “I FEEL GREAT!” crap again this year, I think the Front Office would try to trade him for a pack of roasted peanuts, and then go trade for some other closer like Papelbon for half a year or whatever.

  36. Repeat!

    April 1, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    …..it’s all good… sure glad we held onto Cliff Lee. wait a minute.. ok time to move on. Blanton out with a strained pork-chop does not surprise me. when u got guys coming off back-back seasons of pitching into late oct/nov this will happen from time to time. phils need only to look to the mets training staff for inspr. on how not to bleep up an injury treatment. please don’t rush Blanton back. I agree Kendrick will be fine. the bp takes a hit for now sure, but nothing’s gonna stop my child-like anticipation of Phils vs Nats on Monday. I can’t blv it’s only 4 days away. Let’s Go Phillies!

  37. Repeat!

    April 1, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    flyers down 3-0 to lowly ny by-standers…. yayyyy!

  38. The Second John

    April 1, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    I think the biggest concern with the BP is their left hander situation. I think Bastardo is a huge question mark. I think the other concern in their BP is Madson closing.

    Who’s gonna fill the roster spot left by Blanton? Carpenter? Mathieson? Zagurski?

  39. Repeat!

    April 1, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    it’s an issue. but i heard somewhere that the 2002 Angels didn’t have a lefty in the bp until after the all-star break. lefties are key yes but at the end of the day u needs guys that can get outs.. the redsox had two good lefties in their pen wag and someone else and they got swept. the dodgers traded for sherill to stop the phils lefty power bats and Raul took’em deep in Game 1 and everyone else teed off on him in game 5. i’m not sure who’ll they’ll use to fill Kendrick’s spot. mathieson seems logical. I don’t like Madson as the closer. but unlike last yr madson got plenty of notice… i think he’ll be alright for now.

  40. WFC010

    April 1, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Mathieson can’t be a starter anymore, not after 2 Tommy John’s he can’t. BUT you know what? I really would like to see how he’d do as either a Closer, or late inning reliever.

    BJ Rosenberg is not going to be ready for a fulltime gig with the big club for another year or 2 yet, but Mathieson could potentially be of assistance right now…but he HAS to stay in the Bullpen.

  41. Vernon Dozier

    April 2, 2010 at 5:03 am

    I’m worried about Lidge, Ibanez, Hamels, and the bullpen (more or less in that order). This will be an interesting season.

  42. Joepa

    April 2, 2010 at 9:09 am

    If our starters can go 6 1/3 to 6 2/3 on average our BP should be ok. In the first third of last season our starters were getting knocked out early – putting extra pressure on the ‘pen. If that happens again this year I would expect our ‘pen to struggle. That being said, we’d all like to see Big Joe back and fully healthy soon, but…..

    Did anyone read the new SI article out about Halladay. Didn’t it warm your heart to hear how many complete games Doc has had? Just what we need. Welcome to Philly Doc – I’m ready for a magical season!

  43. The Dipsy

    April 2, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Lets face it. Blanton will not be himself until the all start break. Six weeks takes you to May 15. Three rehab starts. Thats about two weeks. The he pitches his first hame around June 1. Ok, maybe July 1.

    The Dipsy

  44. bfo_33

    April 2, 2010 at 9:21 am

    3 days away! A perfect weather weekend to prime up for baseball. I’ve always been an optimist anyway, but performance over the past 3 years, especially last year (no pen, no bench, questionable starting pitching) makes it hard to panic at this point.
    Lidge is probably the toughest role to fill – hopefully Baez and Madson can get by (we have outfield depth if Ib starts out slow, Hamels had velocity, was experiementing with other pitches/grips through the spring, may have a rough start, but feel good about him, first 9 games against WSH and Hou, then FLA which has mostly rh power, can get by for a while without a strong LOOGY in the pen, rest of the pen looks better than last year). Looking forward to a great season – go Phils!

  45. beta sigma shag

    April 2, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I got SI yestarday, it was a good story on Doc, But a Philly on the cover and a perdiction for the Phils to win the WS is a little bothersome.
    And you can not expect Doc to have as many complete games because he is not in the American league any more, which means unless he is up by 3 or 4 runs someone is going to bat for him in the 7th or 8th inning. I am not saying he will not get more complete games than avg national league pitcher, but you do have to remember he has to bat now. The thing I liked about the article is that the Blue Jays Pitchers tried to copy Doc’s after start treatmeant and none of them could even get half way through it.

  46. beta sigma shag

    April 2, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    About this years pen, I really think you have to wait and see what they can do. Also you have to remember that it is a long season, and the Phillies can overcome a bad start like they did last year. Lidge and Blanton need to take enough time on the DL to get them healthy and not be nagged by these injuries all year like Lidge was last year. Also you have to remember Biaz numbers from last year were with the Orioles aganinst the AL East. So you have to think that they will be a little better in the NL. I think he will be fine and surprise some of you nay sayers. Durbin has been a solid guy no matter where you put him in the pen since he has been in Philly. Is going to be great every time out, no, but he will be consistant, and seems to raise to the occasion when need be. How many of you thought we had a great bull pen this time of year in “08. Lidge coming of a bad year, the Durbin Brothers, a young kid with no track record in Madson, who by the way got off to a rocky start in 08, a guy we picked up Romero. Were these all studs from top to bottom? Give these guys a shot to play when the games count before we proclaimed them dead fish

  47. Chuck

    April 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Yeah, compared to the start of the 2008 season…..I actually feel pretty good about the pen right now….INCLUDING all the injuries. And we have some options in the minors to fill holes,etc.

    Thank goodness for David Herndon. Greait job by Ruben!

    Dipsy, I agree that, depending on the severity of the injury, Blanton probably won’t be in a groove til July. Yikes!!

  48. Brian Sr. of CO

    April 4, 2010 at 11:09 am

    “If we don’t do the boo-birds thing”? LOL. Like the Dipsy said, we are Philadelphia fans. Its in our nature to boo them if they arent doing well. I recall last season prior to the Break the Phillies were NOT doing well at home. During that same time the “boo-birds” were NOT prevelant. Even Cholly spoke and said something about the “boo-birds” not being there and how that may have been affecting the team. My take. Keep the pressure on. We are still Philadelphia fans, and they know we are VERY passionate! Cheer when the do well, and boo when they done. PERIOD.

  49. Phylan

    May 20, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    ignore this dumb test comment

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