Tag Archives: Joe Blanton

Phillies Tidbits

5 Aug
  • Cliff Lee will remain a Phillie for the remainder of 2012, as the window on the Dodgers’ waiver claim closed today. Lee coughed up three home runs in a no-decision against the Diamondbacks this afternoon.  Lee looked great at times, but continues to attack
  • Kyle Kendrick will start on Wednesday against the Braves.  Kendrick stepped in as a spot starter on Friday when Dodgers acquired Joe Blanton just before game time. Kendrick will be making his 15th start of the season which earns him a $100,000 bonus.
  • Jimmy Rollins got Sunday off after going hitless in his last three games.  Rollins was batting .187 in his last 22 games.  Rollins came on to pinch hit for Michael Martinez in the 8th, and finished the game. He popped out in his lone at-bat.
  • The Phillies announced that they have released infielder Mike Fontenot.  The Phils designated Fontenot for assignment on August 1.  Mike was released to make room on the roster when the Phillies acquired Josh Lindblom and Nate Schierholtz. Fontenot, 32, hit .289/.343/.340 in 105 plate appearances this year for the Phillies.  The veteran signed a minor league deal with the Phillies in April and split time between second and third base in 2012.
  • Shane Victorino is batting .167 (2-12) with 1 run scored and 1 stolen base in three games with the Dodgers.
  • Hunter Pence is batting .118 (2-17) with zero runs, 2 RBI and 3K’s in four games with the Giants.
  • The Phillies observed a moment of silence for Garrett Reid before Sunday’s game. The 29-year-old son of Eagles head coach Andy Reid was found dead in his room at the Eagles training camp at Lehigh University on Sunday morning. Local police said there were no “suspicious” activity and no cause of death has been determined.

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Trade Update: Joe Blanton

30 Jul

Update: 1:47 PM EST The Orioles are said to be lowering their demands. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun says that the deal is “Gaining steam.”

Update: 12:53 PM EST Jayson Stark is reporting that the talks between the Orioles and the Phillies are on “life support.”  Teams are very far apart still. 

Update 11:53 AM EST According to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com The Orioles are said to be looking around other places for pitching help, but can’t seem to meet the demands of other teams. Not sure exactly if this bodes well for the Phillies. 

Update: 10:55 AM EST Blanton is still on the Orioles radar.  Baltimore is reluctant to pick up any of the roughly $3MM still owed to Joe this season.  

The Phillies may have found a suitor for Joe Blanton.

After years of being involved in trade rumors, and being the outcast pitcher among aces, Joe Blanton appears to finally be on the move.

The Cardinals and Blue Jays have also expressed interest in Big Joe, but it looks like Baltimore has what the Phillies are looking for.

The Phillies are interested in Orioles AA prospect Jonathan Schoop.  Schoop is the #82 Prospect in Baseball America’s Top 100, and the Orioles third best prospect, however Baltimore is reluctant to give up Schoop, and right now that and the money is what’s holding things up.  Baltimore is not interested in taking on any of the $3.02MM that Blanton is still owed, and Philadelphia is OK paying most of it, but they want prospects in return if they’re going to pay.  This isn’t an all out salary dump.

Since there are other teams in the mix the Phillies can haggle all the way up to 4 PM EST tomorrow.

The Phillies have sent Blanton’s medical records to the Orioles, which shows that Baltimore is pretty serious.

I think this one is gonna happen.

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Phillies Preparing to Sell Hard

29 Jul

Victorino slides in safe, but is likely out as a member of the Phillies.

The Phillies needing a great weekend series against the Braves to have any hope of keeping their team together….

It was far from great.

After being swept in Atlanta, the Phillies will likely prepare to dismantle a their team before the 4Pm deadline on Tuesday.

At the top of that list is Shane Victorino.  Vic has drawn interest from Giants, Pirates, Reds and Dodgers, who all need more speed at the top of their lineup.  If Shane has indeed played his last game as a Phillie, he had a good one, crushing his 88th homer as a Phillie and had two other hits and two runs scored.  Shane was instrumental in the successes of the Phillies from 2007-2012, but there just isn’t room for a salary of his kind going into the future.

Multiple teams have inquired about Juan Pierre, and both the Orioles and Cardinals are potential destinations for Joe Blanton according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. He also says that Hunter Pence could be moved if GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is blown away by an offer, and speculates that Ty Wigginton would fit on several teams looking for bench help.

I still think yesterday’s pitching performance bodes well for Joe Blanton.  As you probably remember the Phillies acquired Joe from the A’s in 2008 and he was instrumental in their championship run.  He would certainly help solidify a contenders starting rotation, and in his last three starts has proven to be as durable and reliable as ever.  Joe allowed just four hits and two runs over seven innings. He walked just one and struck out seven.

The Phillies are very likely to keep Cliff Lee for now, although he could be shopped this offseason in an attempt to fill multiple holes, and lower the Phillies overall salary.  With a bit of uncertinty surrounding Roy Halladay, and his less then “Halladay Like” performances, Lee might just be worth holding onto through 2013.

To that extent, Charlie Manual might even consider shutting Roy Halladay down for the remainder of 2012 if things don’t change.

In no way are any of the moves the Phillies are making about dumping salary.  Money is not the issue, prospects and 2013 are. The Phillies need to get better, and it starts in the bullpen.

Ruben Amaro Jr. has really dazzled us the last few years with the players he has acquired, now we’ll see what he can do when he’s got players to sell.

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Way to Go Joe!

13 Apr

Everyone of the stupid trade ideas I saw this Winter involved Joe Blanton in some regard.  I just don’t get it, what do people have against him?

As for Thursday night?  Joe was fantastic. Blanton pitched seven strong innings (and probably could have gone more) while allowing just one run.  He was the beneficiary of great defense, and had command of all his pitches.

Given what the Phillies may face this year, it will be nice to see this as a regular thing for Blanton.

Chad Qualls and Jonathan Papelbon both threw scoreless innings notching a hold, and a save respectively.

I’m really enjoying the emergence of Freddy Galvis.  I had a friend text me on Wednesday night right before Galvis stroked that double telling me that he couldn’t stand him… I said “You’ll grow to love him.”

Freddy may not hit for power like Utley, but his defense is spectacular.   Truthfully, I don’t care if Michael Martinez ever comes back.

Maybe we have our own Jeremy Lin.

The Phillies may have eased the minds of fans for the time being, registering eight more hits.

Shane Victorino, and Ty Wigginton both went deep for the Phillies with solo homers.  Wigginton’s homer was a blast.   It marked the 7th different team he has homered for.

Anyways… Just nice to see the Phillies get a series win from a division rival, and get to .500.

The Phillies are at home this weekend to take on the Mets.  Friday will see Cliff Lee facing R.A. Dickey.   We all know how well the Phillies do against knuckleballers, so let’s hope that Lee can do his thing, and keep the Phils in the game. Dickey is 2-3 with a 2.61 ERA vs the Phillies.

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Blanton Suffers Setback

18 Jul

Not exactly the news that the Phillies were looking for from Joe Blanton who appeared to be making progress.

Joe felt some discomfort in his right elbow while throwing on Saturday.

Could Joe be finished for the season? According to Scott Proefrock it’s possible

“Yeah, I can’t say that thought hasn’t crossed our mind,” Proefrock said when asked if Blanton might have to put his 2011 season to rest. “Until we have a definitive diagnosis that he can’t pitch, he’s still in the plans.”

As far as coming back as a starter it’s looking pretty unlikely. At this point in the season it’s almost too late for Joe to get healthy, rehab and get stretched out to the point where he could start and go deep into a game. The Phillies aren’t giving up hope that Blanton could return in some capacity.

We’ll see how he feels,” Proefrock said. “He may be coming back to see Dr.Ciccotti in Philadelphia, depending on how he feels.”

Blanton has pitched for the Phillies in relief before, but with how good the bullpen has been, and with Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras looking to be on the mend, it’s possible that there may not be a fit for Joe. Until then Blanton will continue to work with the trainers towards a return.

Vance Worley to Start Friday

29 Apr


It’s pretty hard to believe that the Phillies have this
many players on the Disabled List in April. It’s seven, but who’s really

With the inflammation in his elbow the Phillies placed Joe Blanton on the DL retroactive to
the 24th of April.   Blanton,
who was coming off two good starts, was scheduled to start on Friday night
against the Mets, but instead Phillies pitching prospect Vance Worley will make the start.

Worley is quickly establishing himself as the Phillies
top pitching prospect, appearing in five games with the Phillies in 2010 and
posting a 1.38 ERA.  His best start came
on October came on October 2ndth last season when Vance allowed just
one hit, and pitched five innings in just his second career start against the
Atlanta Braves.

Kyle Kendrick was not considered an option to start because
the Phillies are still unsure if Roy Oswalt will be able to make his next start
after leaving the team to be with his family in Mississippi in the wake of the
wild tornados that have ravaged the south over the last few days.

As much as we all know the Mets are a lame club, they
have been winning a lot of games recently. 
Before the Nationals snapped their win streak yesterday the Mets had won six straight games. 

Notes –

Lowe -
The Braves pitcher was pulled over, and arrested for suspicion of
driving under the influence of alcohol last night.  He completed a field sobriety test, but
refused to take a breathalyzer test.  It’s
unknown if he’ll make his next start. 
Nice one.

Brown has homered twice in just two games in his rehab in Clearwater.  Dom is 2-for-4 with three RBIs with the

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Back in the Hunt?

13 Dec

alg_phillies_cliff_lee.jpgIt appears that the Phillies are seriously back in the hunt for Cliff Lee.  There had been much speculation that there was a mystery team that had interest in Cliff, and now it appears that that team is indeed the Phils.

Late on Monday it began to swirl that the Phillies had been putting the feelers out on takers for Joe Blanton, which would be to free up a little cash for the addition of Lee.  The Phillies are also gauging interest in Raul Ibanez and Kyle Kendrick.

Is it even in the realm of possibility?  Well, I suppose.  I know that the Phillies probably won’t be able to offer anywhere near what the Yankees and Rangers have, but that might not mean as much to Lee as we all thought.  He claims to have really enjoyed his time in Philly and had told teammates that he had hoped to return. 

Could this be a Christmas Miracle?  It seems likely that his decision could come on Tuesday.

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Magic Number Shrinks to 2

25 Sep

The month of September becomes a little more amazing everyday.  Last night the Phillies won their 11th straight game.  Their record in the month of September is 18-3 (.857) and they are just a win and a Braves loss away from locking up their fourth straight National League Eastern Division title.

Shane Victorino provided the pop for the Phils, hitting a lead off homer to start the game, and he followed it up with an RBI double in his second at bat .  Carlos Ruiz singled in the winning run that pulled the Phillies back in front of the Mets for good. 

Joe Blanton pitched 7 very strong and effective innings against the Mets last night giving the Phillies every opportunity to win, and they did.  Joe allowed just 2 runs on a homer to Angel Pagen, and that was it.  Blanton used a minuscule 74 pitches to get through his 7 innings and turned the game over to Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge.

With all the hype surrounding the Big Three I think that we forgot we even had a pitcher named Joe.  Though Joe has had probably his poorest season as a member of the Phillies, he has pitched very well the last two months.  Being number 4 behind Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt is a pretty nice position to have, and Joe doesn’t really care about the spotlight.

“I’m here to win. I’m not here to say I want to start or anything,”
Blanton said. “I’m here to get another ring and that’s more important to
me than anything. The rest of the stuff doesn’t matter.”


Post game the buzz was all about Chase Utley and the hard slide he made going into second base in the 5th.  He didn’t break of the play but he sure took out Ruben Tejada.  Utley avoided the media after the game but this morning he spoke with MLB.com.

“I have never ever attempted to break up a double play with the intent
to injure someone,” he told MLB.com. “I understand what it’s like to be
taken out. I’ve been kicked, kneed, elbowed, spiked and even flipped
upside down. And as much as I might not have liked it at the time, I
understand that it’s all part of being a Major League second baseman.
Second basemen have had to deal with this for over 100 years. And with
that said, we as a team play the game hard and play it to win. That is
not going to change.”

The Mets were pretty displeased by Utley’s play, and Mets manager Jerry Manuel promised that his team would, “take care of
it,” while third baseman David Wright said his teammates need to
“reevaluate” the way they go into second base.

“You can ask him.
He’s a second baseman. If he wants guys sliding like that into him, then
it’s perfectly fine,” Wright said. “He knows how to play the game. If
he doesn’t mind guys coming in like that when he’s turning a double
play, then we don’t have any problem with it. It’s a legal slide. It’s
within the rules. But somebody is going to get hurt. So I guess that’s a
better question for him.”

Tonight is looking to be an interesting night.

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Grading the First Half

15 Jul


Well Jeez, there sure have been some serious highs and lows to this
season.  I think that the picture to the right here is the absolute
high, but what was the biggest low?  God, there were a lot! Chase
getting hurt?  It’s the most recent blow so it’s understandably the at
the forefront of our choices. Was it the late arrival of Brad Lidge and
Joe Blanton?  Neither one of these pitchers has given us much to cheer
for since their return, so I’m not sure we’re actually better off now
that they’re back.  Was it “The Slump”?  For me it was probably the
absence of Jimmy Rollins.  I guess you could say that Jimmy was
probably a large factor in “The Slump” so we can tie the two of them
together… Anyhow… Let’s take comfort in saying that’s in the past. 

So let’s get to it.  I don’t want to make this super long
winded so we’ll skip the side dishes and just cut into the steak.  It’s
hard to grade the Phillies too well or too poorly.  We probably all
agree that these injuries are killing us.  Let’s quickly list our
players that rode the DL Train this year.  Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley,
Placido Polanco, Brian Schneider, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin, J.A. Happ,
Antonio Bastardo, Ryan Madson, Brad Lidge, Joe Blanton, and J.C. Romero. 

  • Here it is… The Report Card

starting pitchers looked pretty awesome on paper to start the season,
but Blanton and Happ won’t have the season we expected. There is nobody
we can blame there.  ****, as they say, happens.  Ryan Madson is a
complete moron, what happened with him is entirely his fault and I hope
behind closed doors he was reprimanded by the Phillies. Brad Lidge’s
troubles don’t have a definitive cause either.  Is he hurt? Is he mental? 
He’s not 2008 Brad, and he won’t ever be 2008 Brad again.  He’s got
that going against him, so the fans probably won’t ever get off his
back since they saw absolute perfection in him before.  The plus side
of pitching has been Roy Halladay (10-7), Cole Hamels (7-7) and Jamie
Moyer (9-8).  They have kept the Phillies in almost every game they
started.  We shouldn’t leave out Kyle Kendrick.  Kyle had a rough start
but has been getting better as the season is progressing.  He’s now at
5-3 and unless we make a run at another starter before the trade
deadline we’ll have to hope that he can continue to make a strong

Pitching – C+

Offensively we have had some
struggles, too.  Shane has struggled at the top of the lineup after
getting pushed up with Jimmy out.  Jayson has been in multiple funks
after starting the season white hot.  He isn’t seeing the ball very
well and is settling for strikeouts rather then working walks as he’s
done in the past. Chase had started to look better before hurting his
thumb, and his replacements hit into more double plays then i think we
ever thought humanly possible.  Raul has hit less homers in the last
year then he did in the first 3 months of last season. Lastly, Greg
Dobbs, Castro and Gload have not had very much to brag about on the
bench.  On the positive side Howard has kept his average close to .300
going the other way and not being afraid to punch balls into the shift trying to beat it. His power numbers are down but you can’t argue with
how many RBI he has at this point considering we don’t really get too many
base runners. 

The Bats – D

Should I even grade them? 
The Front Office I mean…  I’ve got a lot of criticism of the
ownership and of Ruben Amaro but I’m not really sure it matters what I
think of Ruben since he has a budget to work with.  The budget that he
won’t mention.  Guys and gals there is a real and defined budget that
this team has to work with.  We’re not the Yankees, we can’t just go
into the free agent market on a shopping spree every winter and go
crazy.  Ruben Amaro as the GM for this team has more then a few jobs. 
The one that you know him for is the guy that manages the scouts,
player development and personnel.  He works out the deals with current
and prospective players.  He’s also the one that faces the media and
takes the wrap.  Do you even know who the owners of the Phillies are? 
Have you ever seen them?  David Montgomery is probably the only one that
ever shows his face. Everyone knew who Steinbrenner was because he
didn’t hide from the media.  Claire S. Betz, Tri-Play Associates
(Alexander K. Buck, J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. William C. Buck), Double Play,
Inc. (John S. Middleton), Giles Limited Partnership (Bill Giles) make
up the rest of the ownership. These guys are the ones that give Ruben
his numbers, but don’t think that’s all that they do.  They have a
hand in who stays and who goes. It’s hard to see how they wouldn’t
stretch the budget a tiny but to keep Cliff Lee in town at a such a
discount of his actual worth. I know it’s not my money, but I don’t
really know where the logic was in this one.  With all the
merchandising and memorabilia opportunities this team could secure with
another post-season win I don’t know why they skimped out this past
winter.  It was a big risk that has already begun to backfire. I’m
happy that they got the Roy Halladay deal done and Jose Contreras has
done pretty well.  He was over worked a bit with Lidge’s troubles, but
has proven to be a good addition.  Danny Baez and Ross Gload cost us
and haven’t really panned out.

The Office – C (Without Halladay and locking up Howard they’d be pretty close to an F)

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Phillies Getting on a Roll

25 Jun






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Don’t look now, but the Phillies are now just 2 ½ games back
of those pesky Atlanta Braves.  The surge
is on and if the Mets and the Braves can see the Phillies in the rearview
mirror I think they’ll see that Jayson Werth is at the wheel.  Werth is batting a crazy 857 (6-for-7) with
one home run and three RBIs in his past two games, and .395 (15-for-38) with
two doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs, eight walks and seven strikeouts in 12
games since June 10.  According to
Charlie Manuel has just opened up his stance a little bit.  Werth tried not to use the word “Slump” when
speaking about his struggles but seemed very pleased with his recent success at
the plate.

“It just kind of got me out of my … whatever I was
in,” Werth said. “Just kind of change things up a little bit. I’ve
done it in the past. Just messing around with some different stances and setups
and stuff. I think I did that last year at some point.”

Joe Blanton is rebounding nicely and just at the right
time.  Just like last year Big Joe is
getting stronger and is becoming the innings eater he is known to be.  In 2009 Joe had a similar tough start and
ended up being the Phillies most sure things out of the rotation.  Thursday’s performance was very good. 

Phillies catcher Dane Sardinha, called up on Saturday from
Triple-A Lehigh Valley, hit his first Major League home run in the bottom of
the sixth inning. It was a solo shot to left field that sparked another
five-run Philadelphia rally.  Sardinha is
filling in for Chooch and Brian Schneider who got the day off.

Charlie was ejected again today in the bottom of the second
trying to argue that Victorino didn’t leave the baseline while trying to avoid
a tag from Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona. The rule states that the runner
cannot be more then three feet from the established baseline.   It was pretty hard to tell. It was Manuel’s
fourth ejection this season, second in three days and 29th ejection with the
Phillies.  He’ll never catch Bobby Cox
but I don’t know if anyone will ever be able to top him.

I can’t finish this entry with out mentioning how insane the
weather got when the game went into the delay. 
Trying to watch the Citizens Bank Park grounds crew get the tarp out
over the diamond was funny and scary all at the same time.  Howard was joking around after the game
calling it a “tornado-cane” Whatever it was it was totally insane.  “I was waiting for the cow to fly through,”
Howard joked.

Roy Halladay has to face his former team, the Blue Jays

Side Notes –

All-Star – The races are heating up.  Polanco is losing ground to David
Wright.  Jimmy is running pretty close to
Hanley Ramirez and needs your help.  Keep
voting gang.

Madson – Bullpen in Philly Thursday and is headed to
Clearwater to begin his rehab.

Happ – After another rehab start Happ’s velocity is still
Moyer-esque… Not sure if he’s going to be back as soon as we would like…


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