Sudden Moves Change Phillies Roster

(Photo: Philly Baseball Insider)

Joe Blanton's sudden appearance on the disabled list has opened up a spot for rookie Vance Worley, while a balky back creates the need for a third catcher on the Phillies roster.

Joe Blanton had a strong outing against San Diego, but actually had to struggle through the outing thanks to a stiff elbow. The problem was diagnosed as an elbow impingement, causing Blanton to wind up on the disabled list.

The move will allow Blanton to rest the injury and work through rehab in an effort to avoid surgery to improve the condition. Most times, therapy and rest will solve the impingement, but some cases do require surgery.

To take Blanton's spot in the rotation, which comes up in the first game of the series against the New York Mets, the Phillies recalled right-hander Vance Worley from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Worley got the nod over Kyle Kendrick largely because he is already stretched out as a starter at Lehigh Valley, while Kendrick has been working in long relief and would likely not be able to pitch deep into the game.

Worley is the heir apparent to any permanent opening in the rotation. Worley, 23, was 2-2 with a 2.78 ERA in four starts with Lehigh Valley. Last season with the Phillies, Worley went 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA in five games - two starts - and struck out 12 hitters in 13 innings.

Elsewhere, when Carlos Ruiz left the game in the first inning on Wednesday night, the wheels started turning on how to handle his injury. As it turns out, the Phillies don't believe he will need to be placed on the DL, but they certainly want to give him more rest and need another healthy catcher on the roster.

The solution? Dane Sardinha.

The veteran backstop had his contract purchased from the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and will join the club to start the series with the Mets. Sardinha hit .205 in 13 games with the Phillies last season and has also played for Detroit and Cincinnati in the majors.

Sardinha got the nod over Eric Kratz, who made his major league debut with the Pirates last season.

As the dominoes fell, the Phillies needed to clear a spot on the 25 man roster for Sardinha, resulting in left-hander Mike Zagurski being optioned back to Lehigh Valley. To clear a spot on the 40 man roster, the Phillies moved closer Brad Lidge to the 60 day DL.

To take Sardinha's spot with Lehigh Valley, the Phillies have activated Joel Naughton from the Clearwater disabled list and moved him to Lehigh Valley. The assignment is the first Triple-A assignment for the 24 year-old catcher from Australia.


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