Franklin Longs For Return To Starting

Franklin Longs For Return To Starting

Ryan Franklin moved to the bullpen to start the season, even though it wasn't where he wanted to be. Now, with the starting rotation starting to show some pretty serious cracks, Franklin insists he's ready to contribute as a starter.

Phillies right-hander Ryan Franklin would be relieved to be starting again. Franklin has appeared in 25 games out of the bullpen for the Phillies, but he says he's open to the possibility of returning to the rotation - a role in which he spent the majority of his career.

Franklin averaged 201 innings a year over the past three seasons with the Mariners, and he signed a contract over the winter to do that with the Phillies. He moved to the bullpen when Gavin Floyd pitched his way into the rotation in spring training. Now Floyd has pitched his way back to the minors, and the Phillies could use some assistance in their rotation.

"I can pitch five innings now (and work from there)," Franklin said. "I believe I'll help the team that way. We need to get on a roll here and start winning some games. I think I can give us innings and a chance to win."

The Opening Day rotation of Jon Lieber, Brett Myers, Cory Lidle, Floyd and Ryan Madson has been hit with inconsistency and injuries. Only Myers and Lidle have made every start. Prospect Cole Hamels joined the rotation for two starts before heading to the disabled list, though he's set to come back Tuesday. Franklin just wants his manager to know he's available.

"If they want to do it, I'll do it," Franklin said.

REPLAY: Chase Utley had a single, a double and a homer Sunday, and he drove in two runs in the Phillies' 6-4 win over Los Angeles. A three-run eighth inning broke a 3-3 tie, with Utley bringing in the go-ahead run. Tom Gordon notched his 17th save.

Starter Brett Myers lasted 6 2/3 innings, and he worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the sixth.

TAKING NOTES:

  • David Dellucci started in left field Sunday and contributed an RBI double in the seventh inning. He has 11 hits in his last 27 at-bats (.407), and nine of his last 11 hits have gone for extra bases.
  • Chase Utley clubbed his 11th homer of the season, extending his lead among NL second basemen. He's batting .393 since April 30.
  • Ryan Howard, Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell and Chase Utley all have 40 or more RBI this season, making the Phillies the only NL team with more than two players with 40-plus RBIs.
  • Pat Burrell has just one hit in his last 18 at-bats, dropping his average from .286 to .267. He was given Sunday off, the second time in the last five games he was out of the starting lineup.
  • Philadelphia's bullpen has allowed just four runs in its last 28 innings for a 1.29 ERA.
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