Blanton has no shot at rejoining the rotation. But in a perfect world, he would give the Phillies an extra arm for the stretch run, perhaps even in time for the two doubleheaders they will play in September.
"Whatever they need me to do," Blanton said.
Blanton's recovery from what has been diagnosed as inflammation in his ulnar nerve has been tenuous. He's had multiple setbacks, so a return to the active roster is still hardly a sure thing. But it is much surer now than it has been in recent memory.
The veteran righthander last pitched on May 14, when he allowed two runs in five innings of a 5-3 loss to the Braves. Back then, he was the fifth starter in the rotation. After struggling in his first two starts of the season, allowing 12 runs in 10 1/3 innings against the Mets and Nationals, he allowed nine runs in 24 innings in his next four starts. But then he started to battle pain in his elbow, which forced him to twice visit renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews in an attempt to diagnosis his problem.
There is still a possibility that he ends up needing surgery, but only if the injury worsens.
"I feel really good," Blanton said.
Vote for Dom
If Charlie Manuel gets his way, top prospect Domonic Brown will be back with the Phillies before the end of the season. Brown has struggled since rejoining Triple A Lehigh Valley after the Hunter Pence trade in late July. Two nights ago, he went 0-for-6 in a doubleheader with four strikeouts and reportedly was booed by the home crowd at Coca-Cola Park. That same day, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters he thought Brown might need some time away from baseball to recharge his batteries.
But Manuel said he understands the struggles Brown is going through. And he doesn't think they should prevent the Phillies from adding his physical talent.
"To us, he's still a big prospect," Manuel said. "We look at him as a guy who has a chance to play for us. There's no sense in why we shouldn't bring him back."
Raul Ibanez, who has been battling a groin injury, returned to the lineup for the first time since Aug. 26. He was 3-for-5 with a two-run homer . . . Rosters for the Arizona Fall League have been announced. Representing the Phillies will be Tyler Cloyd, Jacob Diekman, B.J. Rosenberg, Colby Shreve, Cody Overbeck, Darin Ruf and Tyson Gillies.