June 30, 2009 12:49 AM

Bunts and Balks (6/29)

MLB: JUN 14 Red Sox at Phillies

Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez have sizeable leads at their respective positions in All-Star voting. It looks like Utley and Ibanez will start, and that they will be the only Phils' starters.

Raul Ibanez is eligible to return from the DL on Friday, but is not expected to be ready at that point. Hopefully, he'll be ready by next week?

Antonio Bastardo was placed on the DL, with Sergio Escalona optioned (again) back to the P-Phils to take his roster spot. This move probably could have been made in time for Escalona to be available for the Jays' series.

No one has been officially announced to take Bastardo's rotation spot. Most of the speculation seems to lean towards a promotion of Carlos Carrasco from Lehigh Valley (AAA).

Scott Eyre starts his rehab on Wednesday, and hopes to return this weekend. Jack Taschner, Tyler Walker, Paul Bako, and Sergio Escalona (again) may be in danger of receiving a trip to scenic Lehigh Valley. Bako gets my vote, a move which would return the bullpen to a "Plus Eight."

Tyler Walker has been outstanding out of the pen, with seven scoreless innings. Walker has also permitted six of nine inherited runners to score, violently scarring the ERAs of others. Don't get too excited.

Former Phillies P Paul Fletcher was shown hitting Craig Biggio with a pitch in a clip on MLB Tonight. I have no recollection of Paul Fletcher. Not acceptable. Edward Paul Fletcher pitched 13.1 innings in relief, during the 1995 season, with a 5.40 ERA/1.8 WHIP. His baseball reference page is available for only $5!

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA) lost 6-1, to the Norfolk Tides, on Monday night.
At least the FeHogs have now spent one day of their history at .500. Gustavo Chacin permitted six runs in five innings, but only one run was earned.

The Reading Phillies (AA) blasted the Trenton Thunder, 10-1. The victory was not a surprise, as ace Joe Savery was on the mound. Savery improved his record to 10-1, with six shutout innings (two hits, four walks/two strikeouts). Michael Taylor went 4 for 5, improving his average to .351. Kevin Mahar went 4 for 4, improving to .308.

Yohan Flande was promoted to Reading from the Clearwater Threshers (A). Flande was outstanding with the Threshers, with a 7-1 record, 2.52 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and a 2.79 K/BB ratio (82 IP). The R-Phils website does not list the transaction (the Threshers' does), and lists the Tuesday starting pitcher as "TBA." Flande was scheduled to start Tuesday night, so he is the likely "TBA."
Tyson Brummett's spot in the rotation appears to have been skipped, as his fifth day would have been Monday. (Brummett pitched an inning in relief, facing five batters, on Monday night.) Barring a promotion to AAA (Savery?), Brummett seems likely to spend some time in the bullpen with Flande, Kyle Drabek, Vance Worley, Mike Stutes, and Joe Savery comprising the five-man rotation. (Unless Reading goes to a six-man rotation, which would be a good way to keep innings counts down? In that case Brummett might rejoin the rotation this weekend, perhaps on Saturday, giving Savery an extra day?)

The Clearwater Threshers remained undefeated in their second half, winning their fifth consecutive game, 9-8. After four consecutive extra-inning wins over the Jupiter Hammerheads, the Threshers did not require extra time to beat the Palm Beach Cardinals. Clearwater was outhit 15-9, but used two four-run innings to win a see-saw battle. Newly-promoted 22 year-old righty Travis Cloyd, who took Flande's roster spot, struggled in his debut. Cloyd surrendered four runs in five and two-thirds innings, on nine hits and one walk/two strikeouts.

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