PHILADELPHIA -- J.D. Durbin knows of the trade possibilities that could alter his season, or even career. The 25-year-old isn't likely to be dealt, but the Phillies have made no secret they are out for starting pitching and Durbin, as the fifth starter, would likely be sent tumbling back to the Minors if such a trade went through. But Durbin, playing for his fourth team since Spring Training, has made a bid in the last week to be the starter the Phillies desperately need. On July 17, Durbin allowed just a run to the Dodgers, one of the National League's top offensive teams, and then pitched a complete game in shutting out the Padres on Sunday.
Manager Charlie Manuel, though, was noncommittal on Tuesday about whether Durbin had done enough to stick. "You can come to the Major Leagues and get what you call 'hot,'" Manuel said. "You can still get back to the consistency part. When you stay consistent and can have quality outings, the better chance you have to win the game. That's what gets you established as a Major League pitcher. It's probably too soon to determine whether Durbin can stay hot, but the "stuff" that got him noticed by four different teams this year has been working. Durbin said he has decreased his velocity by four or five miles per hour from the beginning of the season and is experiencing better control. Then there was the now well-known meeting with veteran Jamie Moyer, who advised Durbin to slow down and pick smaller targets. It all seems to be coming together. Durbin's in the starting rotation, which he considers the most helpful change to his turnaround. He admitted Tuesday he didn't enjoy the bullpen, and would rather start because it offers more predictable work. Whether he's still working at the Major League level after July 31 is out of Durbin's hands. It seems he's pleased just to have slowed his pinball-like 2007 season. "The trade deadline is trade deadline," Durbin said. "It's obviously the talk amongst every team and organization. If they need to bring in somebody else to fill this spot that they feel will help the ballclub better than I will, then so be it. It's a business; it's a game -- it's a fun game. " More is better: Manuel was asked on Tuesday if he felt 90 wins was the magic number the Phillies needed to reach the playoffs. "I'd say 90 sounds good," he said. "Anything over that would sound better." Going into Tuesday's game, the Phillies needed to finish with a record of 40-24 to reach the target mark. Minor notes: The Reading Baseball Hall of Fame will induct five new members Thursday prior to Reading's game against Trenton. George Bradley, Mike Jackson, Ricky Jordan, Mike Lutz and Jim Pollock are all going to be honored. Bradley, a Reading native, threw the first no-hitter in Major League history on July 15, 1876. Jackson played 17 seasons for eight different big-league teams, leading the National League in games pitched in 1993. Jordan hit .318 with 95 RBIs for Reading in 1987. Lutz won the Eastern League batting crown in 1952 after hitting .321 during the Reading Indians' first season. Philling in: Brett Myers is scheduled to make another rehab appearance this week at Clearwater, Fla. If all goes well, the closer could join the Phillies by the end of the week. ... Manuel said he would like to get Tom Gordon in another big-game situation soon. Coming up: Hamels lost his duel with Chris Young his last time out. He only gave up a run, but it was enough for the Padres, who handed Hamels his fifth loss of the season. The left-hander lost to the Nats' earlier in the season. The rematch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Stephen Fastenau is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.