Pedro Martinez will make his first (non-simulated) rehab start on Sunday, for the Clearwater Threshers (A). Game time is scheduled for 4:00pm, and can be followed via the visiting St. Lucie Mets' internet broadcast. Martinez' appearance should increase attendance at Clearwater's Bright House Field, on an afternoon when Wet N' Wacky Day was already expected to lead to large crowds. If you are fortunate enough to attend, please refrain from hurling water balloons at Martinez. Thanks in advance.
The Roy Halladay Deal hasn't been officially consummated, and Halladay is expected to make the start for Toronto on Friday night. The probability of Halladay being traded has ranged between 0 and 100%, over the past few days. Numerous teams are, reportedly, involved in trade talks, and countless top minor league prospects have been mentioned. Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi tried to impose an arbitrary, pre-trade deadline, deadline of July 28th, but that doesn't seem to have panned out.
The Phillies still appear to be among the frontrunners, and the names Kyle Drabek, J.A. Happ, Lou Marson, Michael Taylor, Jason Donald, and Dominic Brown have all been bandied about.
If Amaro could get Halladay for Happ, Marson, and Donald, he should do the deal in a millisecond. Halladay turns the Phillies from World Series contender, to World Series favorite.
Phillies' reliever Chad Durbin was placed on the 15-day DL, after experiencing muscle pain in his lower back. Durbin has felt pain for the past month, but told neither his wife, nor pitching coach Rich Dubee. Over that time, Durbin had been responsible for five runs, over eight and two-thirds innings, including a scoreless, three-inning appearance on Monday. It appears injury, in addition to regression, has affected Durbin's recent results. Durbin is expected to return immediately, when the DL stint ends.
Phillies' reliever J.C. Romero was placed on the 15-day DL, with a strained left forearm. Romero will be eligible to return on August 4th. He made both his wife, and Rich Dubee, aware of the injury in a timely manner. Between this injury setback, his fifty-game suspension, and the fan incident in Tampa, this has not been the most successful season for Romero.
The Phillies recalled IronPigs (AAA) reliever Tyler Walker, and starter Andrew Carpenter, to fill the bullpen holes. Carpenter is stretched out, so it appears he will work in long relief, with Chan Ho Park pitching in late innings/high leverage situations. Park has pitched extremely well as a reliever. He would have been a great free agent pickup, if he had been signed as a $1-1.5 million/year reliever.
Walker is still not a good pitcher, and will probably be designated for assignment again, on August 4th.
The moves leave Scott Eyre as the only southpaw in the bullpen. Minor league lefties Sergio Escalona and Jack Taschner were considered for recall, but Escalona has pitched poorly recently, and Taschner has pitched like Taschner, all season.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA) recalled reliever Pat Overholt from Reading (AA), and demoted Sergio Escalona to Reading. Escalona had a 10.50 ERA in six July innings. BABIP was not kind to him, as he allowed nine hits, and a .333 OBA. The right-handed Overholt, who has pitched in two AAA games this season, had a 2.16 ERA in eight and one-third July innings with the R-Phils.
Kyle Kendrick had a AAA start pushed by a day, for reasons that were not announced. There has been speculation that Kendrick was involved in a trade for Nationals' OF Josh Willingham, which fell through. My theory is that he was involved in a trade that fell through, but Arizona D-Backs' northpaw Doug Davis was the Phillies' intended target.
Scott Mathieson continues his attempt to return to MLB, with the Clearwater Threshers (A). Mathieson has made three appearances for the Threshers, throwing four scoreless innings, with four strikeouts (three hits, one walk.) He could be a cost-effective competitor for a Phillies bullpen spot, in 2010.