Blanton to start against Mets

July 18, 2008 7:36:16 PM PDT
1ST PARAGRAPHThe Philadelphia Phillies moved Adam Eaton to the bullpen Friday to open a spot in the rotation for newly acquired Joe Blanton, who is expected to start for the team Tuesday against the New York Mets. The Phils obtained the right-handed Blanton from Oakland on Thursday for three minor leaguers.

Eaton is 3-8 this season with a 5.71 ERA in 19 games, all starts. He has started all but two of the 195 games he has pitched in the majors but is switching to long relief.

"When I look at our rotation, we needed some different looks," manager Charlie Manuel said before the start of a weekend series at Florida. "We needed to try to get better. It doesn't hurt to try to get a little creative at times."

In 6 1-3 innings over his past two outings, the right-handed Eaton has allowed 16 runs and 17 hits. He joins a bullpen that began the weekend with the lowest ERA in the big leagues.

Blanton won 42 games for Oakland in 2005-07 but has been a disappointment this season. He's 5-12 with a 4.96 ERA in 20 starts. "Maybe a change of scenery will help him," Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "We think he's going to be a piece that's going to help us get into the playoffs and further on."

Blanton, who had been scheduled to start Friday at Yankee Stadium, instead will pitch in New York next week to open a three-game series against the Mets. The Phillies and Mets began the weekend tied for first place in the NL East.

Blanton is expected to join his new team Sunday in Miami.