Joe Blanton, who has pitched well lately, takes the hill in what could be his last start as a Phillie. Scouts are reportedly watching.
Friday's loss, unusually ugly as is was, supported the claim that the Phillies are what they are, and that's a team that has beaten the Diamondbacks, Cubs, Rockies, Astros, Brewers, Twins, Padres and Cardinals in head-to-head sets. They've lost to everyone else, including every team in their division, quite badly. At 45-55, and in danger of ending the weekend having lost more ground in the playoff race, they turn to their right-handed inning devourer to even the series tonight at 7:10 from Turner Field.
Two additional pieces of news, both coming from Howard Eskin's morning interview with Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. The Phils may be forced to consider picking up Placido Polanco's mutual option next season for several reasons, suggesting both a lack of internal and external options and payroll limitations. Polly would earn a manageable $5.5 million or receive a $1 million buyout. Amaro also suggested the Phils are counting on Domonic Brown to fill one of their outfield vacancies in 2013. He also discussed keeping Shane Victorino and getting draft pick considerations; it sounds like there's no chance he'll be back.
Scouts on hand: Jim Salisbury lists the Reds, Pirates, Dodgers and Giants as clubs "peeking in" on Victorino and the Phillies lately. Hunter Pence is also on the table. Meanwhile, the Orioles and Blue Jays are scouting Blanton tonight in Atlanta. [Jump to the newest comments]