Blanton encouraged by throwing session

Blanton encouraged by throwing session

PHILADELPHIA -- Joe Blanton took another step toward a possible return to the bullpen before Friday's game against the Marlins.

The Phillies pitcher threw 15 pitches with the catcher on the plate, and another 15 from the full distance. Blanton is scheduled to throw another bullpen session Tuesday in Cincinnati.

"I felt really good today," he said. "I was really encouraged."

Blanton, who's been on the disabled list since May 16 with what the team is calling right elbow inflammation, said he is throwing his sinker, changeup, cutter and slider, but not his curveball, because that was the pitch that caused discomfort in his elbow back in Spring Training and throughout his rehab.

"I'm not staying away from it, but I'm going to hold off until everything else is really, really good," Blanton said.