Kyle Kendrick, who goes in Game 1 of the Phillies' day-night doubleheader, starts his fifth game of the season. Meanwhile, the club appears ready to promote Vance Worley to start Saturday. If he pitches well, Kendrick could return to the 'pen as a longman.
Even the best starting rotation in baseball needs to be six or seven bodies deep, with a reliable longman in reserve. Should Worley get the call Saturday, the Phillies will have distributed 10 starts between Worley and Kendrick already. One could argue that Danys Baez's five-inning outing in the 19-inning game was like an 11th start. Ever since then, Baez has absorbed some of the innings delegated away from Kendrick, and for the first time as a Phillie, the veteran appears to have found his niche. Meanwhile, three of David Herndon's last four appearances have gone more than two innings, including a gutsy performance in the 19 inning game. Herndon could be the odd man out if Worley comes up on Saturday and is likely to remain on the yo-yo, with along with Worley, for the rest of the season. According to Jim Salisbury, Joe Blanton isn't expected back until late July or early August.
Gordon gone: Beerleaguer person of interest Brian Gordon, the outfielder-turned-pitcher who had become Lehigh Valley's ace, opted out of his contract and signed on the dotted line with the injury-riddled Yankees Tuesday, and it's looking like he'll start Thursday's game against his old team, the Texas Rangers. Gordon, 32, was 5-0 with a 1.14 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 53 1-3 innings. Gordon would replace Bartolo Colon, who was recently placed on the disabled list with a pulled hamstring.
Belliard retires: Veteran utilityman Ronnie Belliard, who signed a minor league deal with the Phillies in the spring when the club was taking out insurance policies for Chase Utley, announced his retirement Tuesday. A veteran of 13 Major League seasons, including a trip to the 2004 All-Star Game with Cleveland, Belliard was hitting .251/.311/.347 with the Pigs as their third baseman and utilityman.
Bonine out for the year: Lehigh Valley starter Eddie Bonine will undergo Tommy John surgery, according to the Morning Call. Considering Worley's pending promotion, Belliard's retirement, Pete Orr's paternity leave, Gordon's departure and a number of other tweaks (Nate Bump hamstring), the first-place IronPigs (41-24) will need to scramble in order to stay atop the standings.