Sep 012011
Phillies RHP Joe Blanton

Phillies RHP Joe Blanton

Phillies starter Joe Blanton has spent most of the season dealing with what was termed an impingement in his right elbow, an injury that has kept him out since mid-May.

Back in July it was reported that Blanton had some nerve damage in the elbow and would likely miss the season.  A couple weeks later, the Phillies and Blanton were a little more optimistic, saying that the former fifth starter could actually return in a limited role.

Now it looks like the latter might actually happen.  Per Jim Salisbury, Blanton is scheduled to make a couple minor league starts here shortly.  Blanton will pitch an inning for Single-A Lakewood on Friday at Hagerstown, and if he feels OK after that Blanton will go again on Monday.

“He’s doing fine,” pitching coach Rich Dubee said. “At this point he needs to go out and see what it feels like against hitters.”

The goal is to get the right-hander ready for a role in the bullpen, both down the stretch and in the postseason.  If he’s healthy, Blanton would presumably be a better option than David Herndon.  Unfortunately, Blanton always seems to have first inning trouble so that may not necessarily be the case.

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