June 25, 2009 7:17 PM

Bunts and Balks (6/24)

MLB: MAY 08 Braves at Phillies

Brad Lidge has been activated by the P-Phils, after completing his rehabilitation tour through Reading (AA) and Clearwater (A). Hopefully, Lidge will return to form as the closer, and Ryan Madson will return to form, back in the setup role.

Sergio Escalona was sent down to Lehigh Valley (AAA) to clear a spot for Lidge. The correct choice for this roster move was "Jack Taschner." (We would also have accepted "Paul Bako.") Escalona was only on the roster for a few days, having taken Clay Condrey's spot, when Everyday Clay went on the DL.
Scott Eyre is expected to return next week, hopefully Taschner or Bako will go at that point. (Preferably Bako, as that would reinstate the eight-man bullpen.)
I fear that reliever Tyler Walker will be the choice to vacate the roster for Eyre. Walker would have to pass through waivers to return to Lehigh Valley, and would probably be scooped up by the Nationals. (Or perhaps join reliever Mike Koplove in the Pirates' organization?)

Cole Hamels and J.A. Happ have been swapped in this weekend's rotation, and Hamels will start on Friday night in Toronto.
This move costs Hamels an appearance in the upcoming Mets series (July 3-5), but gains him an extra start, as well as a quick return from the All-Star break. It also swaps him out of a daytime start; Hamels has struggled during the day. Good move.

In an effort to resuscitate Jimmy Rollins and his ailing bat, Charlie Manuel will keep Rollins out of the starting lineup on Thursday and Friday.
It might have been preferable to just keep Rollins batting sixth for an extended period. (Or perhaps ninth in interleague road games?) Any move that puts Eric Bruntlett in the starting lineup on consecutive days is a bit questionable, but Manuel is looking at the long-term here. Given Bruntlett's mediocrity afield, and uselessness at the plate, maybe Pedro Feliz at short, and Greg Dobbs (or Chris Coste, if Dobbs plays 1B, for a DH-ing Ryan Howard?) at 3B, would have been preferable.

Minor League pitchers Kyle Drabek (Reading) and Yohan Flande (Clearwater) have been chosen to appear in the Futures Game.
A well-deserved honor for two of the organization's top hurlers. (It should be noted that Flande is 23, and, possibly, should be competing at a higher level. It seems that he should be promoted to Reading in the near future.)
It's a shame that the Phillies didn't have any position players worthy of selection. Michael Taylor (Reading) has a .978 OPS, with 13 HR, but that apparently isn't good enough for inclusion.

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs fell behind 4-0, after two and a half innings, and lost to the Indianopolis Indians, 4-1. The FeHogs were held to only three hits, and starter Gustavo Chacin (five innings, four runs, nine hits, three walks/two strikeouts) did not have a strong outing.

The Reading Phillies lost to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 4-3.
Michael Taylor went 3 for 4, but starter Tyson Brummett was ineffective (five innings, four runs, eight hits, four walks/zero strikeouts.)

The Clearwater Threshers defeated the Tampa Yankees, 7-6, on Wednesday.
The Threshers lead 6-0, after four and a half innings, and held on for the win. Yohan Flande won his seventh game, in eight decisions, but his performance was rather pedestrian (five innings, two runs, four hits, two walks/three strikeouts).

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