Phillies weigh trading Blanton for bullpen help

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The News Journal’s Scott Lauber’s believes the Phillies would consider trading Joe Blanton to land the setup man for Brad Lidge they desire.
There’s no reason to believe it’s been discussed, but a Joe Blanton-for-George Sherrill deal would make perfect sense if the Dodgers have any financial flexibility at all. Blanton figures to make $8 million or so in his final year of arbitration. Sherrill is due $4 million-$4.5 million and has two years to go before free agency.
In Sherrill, the Phillies would get the setup man with closing experience they so obviously crave. They’d also free up a spot for Pedro Martinez if they wanted to re-sign the right-hander. As thngs stand now, they’re looking at a rotation of Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Blanton, J.A. Happ and perhaps Jamie Moyer.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.