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.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.