Joe Blanton's last real start occurred May 14 before he succumbed to season ruining elbow problems. The 31-year-old right-hander takes his turn in Clearwater opposite the Yankees beginning at 1:05 p.m.
When healthy, Blanton, who has been shopped in three straight off-seasons, has battled inconsistency, mixing good months and high strikeout rates with bad months in which he's been hittable. In four seasons with the club, he’s 26-16 with a 4.43 ERA, with his most complete effort occurring in 2009. Blanton, who is favored to win the fifth starter job if he isn’t moved, told CSNPhilly.com in February that he’s been throwing all winter, pain free, and is optimistic he can stay healthy all season. We'll see if any scouts are in attendence. … Meanwhile, Placido Polanco gets his first Grapefruit League start as he tries to rebound from a double sports hernia.
The Phillies’ lineup looks like this: Rollins SS, Polanco 3B, Victorino CF, Thome DH, Pence RF, Wigginton 1B, Brown LF, Schneider C, Frandsen 2B. The Kevin Frandsen watch is on, while Domonic Brown has gobbled up every starting opportunity in left.