Phillies activate Joe Blanton from DL for bullpen role

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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.