June 3, 2009 10:39 PM

Bunts and Balks (6/3)

MLB: APR 19 Padres at Phillies

J.C. Romero has returned! Sergio Escalona was sent to Lehigh Valley (AAA) on Wednesday, opening a spot for Romero, as expected. Jack Taschner remains with Fuqua and Dubee's Plus Eight. Charlie Manuel never seems to use his eighth reliever, so it is probably better for Escalona's development to pitch regularly with the IronPigs. There has been speculation that the Phillies kept Taschner on the roster because the MLB Network is paying the salary of the star of their reality show, "The Pen."

Antonio Bastardo has not been officially announced as the starter for Sunday night's game in Los Angeles. The Phils still could go with Carlos Carrasco, who did not pitch Wednesday, as Lehigh Valley's game was postponed. But it seems likely, given Bastardo's success on Tuesday night, that he will get the start against Randy Wolf and the Dodgers. Bastardo will probably need to vary his pitches a bit more, if he is to succeed against LA's lineup. Bastardo threw eighty-eight fastballs against San Diego, and only fourteen non-fastballs.

Gustavo Chacin, in his first start for Lehigh Valley since being promoted from Reading (AA) this week, allowed only one run in four innings. Don't get too excited, as Chacin also allowed three hits and four walks. He threw only thirty-nine of seventy-six pitches for strikes. In 2005, a 24 year-old Chacin pitched 203 innings for Toronto, finishing fifth in Rookie of the Year voting. Chacin might not make it back to MLB, but signing him to an inexpensive minor league deal was a worthwhile move.

The IronPigs lineup in Chacin's start featured Pablo Ozuna batting third, and Miguel Cairo batting fifth. Yikes!

Kyle Drabek, one of the Phils' top pitching prospects, made his first start in AA on Wednesday. Drabek got the win, throwing seven shutout innings. He threw mid-90's heat, and only allowed three hits. His name will definitely come up in any trade negotiations. Hopefully, the Phils will hang on to him, as he could be a #1/#2 starter.

Scott Eyre is, reportedly, considering retiring at the end of the season. He could probably pitch another few seasons, as a LOOGY, if he wishes. That's a lot of money to walk away from...

The Phillie Phanatic was in San Diego on Tuesday night, hanging out at Petco with the Swinging Friar. Phillies' announcer Chris Wheeler made reference to the "greatest baseball mascot...the San Diego Chicken." Unconscionable. As a result, Wheeler will now be referred to by his nickname, "Muffin", in all future posts.

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