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Joe Blanton, Roy Oswalt Injuries May Have Been Good for Philadelphia Phillies

PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 7: Starting pitcher Roy Oswalt #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies walks off the mound during a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park on June 7, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Dodgers won 6-2. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images
JohnContributor IIIAugust 4, 2011

When both Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton got injured, the Philadelphia Phillies starting rotation took a huge blow.

Actually, their injuries may have helped the two young pitchers—Kyle Kendrick and Vance Worley—not to mention the team in itself.

Where would the two young pitchers be without Oswalt and Blanton getting injured? After the starters went on the DL, Worley and Kendrick stepped up and were awesome.

Worley's 2.33 ERA is stunning for a rookie—better than Halladay, Hamels, and Lee. Kendrick's 3.60 ERA isn't super, but it is a great improvement over the past few years.

I know that, without the injuries, Worley and Kendrick would have still pitched in the minors or the bullpen. But there are two reasons why pitching in Philadelphia's starting rotation was better.

First of all, it gives them much-needed experience. Vance Worley is lucky to have his first big-league season in a rotation with three other aces to back him up. Kyle Kendrick has developed a lot for the same reasons.

This takes a lot of pressure off the two. They don't feel as stressed and can pitch at their best.

It's especially important for a rookie like Worley. 

Secondly, Worley may not have been as good if he had pitched in the minors. He may not have stood out as much if not for the spot in the rotation.

Even though there wasn't much pressure, the loss of two pitchers puts a lot on the rookie. He has outperformed both Oswalt and Blanton. The MLB has put a lot more on him than the minors would have, and thus has caused him to pitch better.

In Triple-A, he had a total ERA of 3.00. That's nothing compared to his 2.33 2011 ERA in the majors.

One more thing that is sort of obvious: Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick both have better ERAs than Oswalt's 3.79 and Blanton's 5.50.

Without Worley and Kendrick, where would the team be now?

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