Joe Blanton is back slightly earlier than expected, as the Phillies activated him from the disabled list following just one minor-league rehab outing.
Blanton has been out since mid-May with an elbow injury and won’t rejoin the rotation, instead filling a low-leverage bullpen role for now.
Blanton has made just five relief appearances in eight seasons, but had a 5.50 ERA in six starts before the DL stint and the Phillies obviously aren’t short on rotation depth. There’s a chance he could work his way into a middle relief spot for the playoffs.
The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Miami Marlins. Craig Mish of Sirius XM was the first to report that the deal was done. Ozuna still has to take a physical.
There is no report yet about what the Cards had to give up to get Ozuna, but given that the Cards and Marlins put a deal together for Giancarlo Stanton, the sides certainly have discussed various Cards prospects recently.
Ozuna fills a major need for the Cardinals, who had serious weaknesses in the middle of the order in 2017. Last year their number three hitters hit a combined .246/.338/.425 and their cleanup hitters hit 270/.350/.444. Ozuna, 27, had a fantastic offensive year in 2017, hitting .312/.376/.548 with 37 home runs and 124 RBI in 159 games.
Ozuna made $3.5 million this past season and is due for arbitration this offseason. He is under contractual control through 2019.