The Phillies took yet another blow to a thin area of their roster. Joe Blanton was placed on the DL with a strained left oblique, which means he is out 3 to 6 weeks. That move also effects the bullpen. Most likely to replace him is the loser in the fifth starter role, Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick who had an impressive ERA, but not so impressive peripheral numbers, was designated to the bullpen. That hurts the pen more because we learned that Lidge had to get a cortisone shot in the outer half of his pitching elbow.
The Phillies are down playing the whole cortisone shot saying that it is nothing to worry about, but one has to think about how secure the Phillies should be with Madson, Baez, and ? to close out their games. Do they stick Mathieson into a similar role and see how well he performs? Do you approach a guy like John Smoltz to see if he would be interested in closing. Smoltz would probably need about a month or so to get into shape. We should hopefully see Lidge saving games by that point.
As far as Blanton’s oblique, how serious of a strain is it? Is it a mild case like Happ had last season where he missed two starts or is it more serious like Clay Condrey’s. Condrey missed about a third of the season due to his oblique issue. The biggest problem is that the Phillies have very little valuable depth at starting pitching as it is. Having to sign Josh Fogg to a MiLB deal yesterday just to fill out the rotation in Lehigh Valley.
I would sitll inquire into Pedro Martinez to see how he is doing. Check in on Noah Lowry. Check the scrap heap. There will be a bunch of guys out of a job in the next week or so.