Blanton's role in limbo after rocky outing

Blanton's role in limbo after rocky outing

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Coming off a rough season in 2013, right-hander Joe Blanton's second spring start Friday did not go well. Blanton gave up seven runs, including four home runs, and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings against the Rockies.

"He showed better deception and command the first time out; [Friday] the command just wasn't there," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He missed with some fastballs that guys squared up."

Scioscia mentioned Blanton as a candidate for a rotation spot, though he is on the outside right now.

Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs appear to have the edge after C.J. Wilson, Jered Weaver and Garrett Richards.

"For us to go where we need to go ... those five guys are going to have to stay healthy and get the lion's share of the starts," Scioscia said.

A move to the bullpen as a long reliever could be a possibility for Blanton, though pitching coach Mike Butcher dismisses the idea.

"He's a starting pitcher," Butcher said. "Plain and simple, he's a starting pitcher."

"His velocity is fine. It's just a matter of executing pitches," Butcher added. "Obviously he wants to pitch well and hopefully next time he gets back on the bump he pitches well. ... We'll see how he bounces back and gets back at it his next outing."

Chris Gabel is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.