What many suspected would happen, did on Thursday; J.A. Happ was placed on the 15 day DL with a strained left elbow, which caused him to miss his last scheduled start for the Phillies.
Reliever Nelson Figueroa will take Happ's place in the rotation, at least temporarily, pitching Saturday against Arizona. Figueroa, who was claimed on waivers from the Mets, has allowed two earned runs in 7 1/3 innings out of the Phillies pen.
Taking Happ's roster spot will be left-hander J.C. Romero, who completed his rehab assignment with back-to-back appearances at Lehigh Valley earlier this week. Romero split his rehab between Clearwater and Lehigh Valley and posted a 1.26 ERA in five appearances.
The Phillies still have pitchers Brad Lidge and Joe Blanton on the disabled list and both are moving closer to returning.
Lidge made five appearances with Clearwater, posting a 9.64 ERA and will continue his rehab assignment with Lehigh Valley Thursday night. Blanton made his first rehab appearance Tuesday night with Lakewood and threw two perfect innings. His next outing will come Friday night at Double-A Reading.
There's no exact timetable for either Lidge or Blanton to return to the Phillies. Two roster spots will have to be cleared when Lidge and Blanton are ready to return and it's unlikely that the Phillies will stick with Figueroa in the starting rotation for any extended amount of time.
In another interesting move, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs activated starter Brandon Duckworth from the DL and placed reliever Alex Concepcion (0-1, 6.43) on the disabled list with a turf toe injury. Duckworth will make his first start of the season Thursday night for Lehigh Valley, who now have six starters on their roster, including Drew Carpenter, who is among the better pitching prospects in the organization.
Carpenter was set to pitch Thursday, but after activating Duckworth, he was pushed back to Friday night when Lehigh Valley plays in Scranton.