Joe Blanton was off to a shaky start as the forgotten man in the Phillies’ star-studded rotation, posting a 5.91 ERA in four starts, and the Phillies just placed him on the disabled list with a right elbow impingement.
Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Vance Worley will be called up from Triple-A to take Blanton’s turn in the rotation tomorrow against the Mets, which means the Phillies are bypassing Kyle Kendrick for the start.
Worley pitched well in a brief stint with the Phillies last season, tossing 13 innings with a 1.38 ERA and 12/4 K/BB ratio, and the 2008 third-round pick has a 3.44 ERA with solid strikeout and walk numbers in 12 career starts at Triple-A.
In addition to losing Blanton to the DL the Phillies are also unsure if Roy Oswalt will make his next scheduled start after leaving the team to be with his family following the tornadoes near his home in Mississippi.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.