Blanco became a free agent Thursday, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Blanco has been a valuable reserve for the Phillies the past three seasons. He hit .253/.316/.405 with four homers in 190 at-bats and played all four infield positions plus left field last season. The Phillies are expected to have interest in bringing Blanco back this winter.
Blanco is out of the lineup for Monday's series opener against the Pirate Blanco had taken place of Maikel Franco (thumb) at third base over the last five games, but Franco's return to the fold will likely push Blanco back to a bench role. He should once again take on a position as a utility infielder.
Blanco (finger) was activated from the 15-day DL on Friday. He has been sidelined since July 24, but with rosters expanding, the Phillies were able to activate him without needing a corresponding move. As expected, Blanco has been unable to match last year's surprising production (.292/.360/.502). He has settled into a utility infielder role, and should see occassional work all over the dirt in the season's final month.
Blanco will hit off a tee Monday, Jack McCaffery of the Delaware County Daily Times reports. While it's promising that Blanco is set to begin hitting, there's still uncertainty as to whether or not he'll need a rehab assignment. Before being placed on the DL on July 25, Blanco had put together a .271/.321/.445 line over 75 games.
Blanco had a pin removed from his fractured left index finger, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Manager Pete Mackanin said he believes Blanco could return to the Phillies around Sept. 1. He'll return to a utility role once he rejoins the team.