Notes: Durbin finds home with Phillies
Righty has chance to prove ability as fill-in for injured starters
PHILADELPHIA -- J.D. Durbin never had a problem with confidence, though at times, he let it overcome him.Since being taken in the second round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft by the Minnesota Twins, the right-hander was long considered one of the club's elite prospects as he worked his way to the big leagues. Durbin believed this, too, and it may have hurt him. "I was a real confident guy when I got drafted," Durbin said. "If you don't go out there confident, you're not going to succeed. I lost that [attitude] in 2004. Guys started telling me in the clubhouse, 'You need to calm down and follow protocol for being the young guy.' That wasn't me. It was tough to swallow, coming from your teammates to chill out. There are 25 egos in there. If you don't like me, don't talk to me." Durbin, 25, has returned to the Major Leagues again after a three-team odyssey that began when the Twins placed him on waivers near the end of Spring Training. He was claimed by the Diamondbacks and allowed seven runs in two-thirds of an inning for them on April 4, posting a 94.50 ERA. Four days later, he was claimed by the Red Sox, and a day later, he was claimed by the Phillies. "That was an experience," Durbin said. "You don't see a guy go from waivers to waivers to waivers to waivers that quick. It was frustrating. Teams say they want you, and the next day, you're gone. It was hard to let go of that relationship [with the Twins], but I have to move on. I found a home in Philadelphia, and hopefully, we can stick up here. I consider myself a Phillie now." The constant moving prevented Durbin from pitching regularly. After throwing eight Spring Training innings and an inning for the Diamondbacks, Durbin didn't start again until May 5, for Triple-A Ottawa, and went 2-4 with a 4.55 ERA in 10 starts. Necessity has brought Durbin, Kyle Kendrick and J.A. Happ, Saturday's starter, to Philadelphia, and the team will need one or all to substitute well for injured veterans Jon Lieber and Freddy Garcia. "That's what they're saying, but it's a matter of going out and doing it," Durbin said. "It's competition no matter what, whether it's in the clubhouse or against the other team. You're not only playing for your team, but for 29 others." Or at least four others, as Durbin has already done this season. Award winner: Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard was honored on Wednesday by the Philadelphia Sports Congress with the 2007 John Wanamaker Award, which is presented to "the athlete, team or organization that has done the most to reflect credit upon Philadelphia and to the team or sport in which they excel." Previous winners include Julius Erving, Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Bob Clarke, Bernie Parent, Reggie White and Donovan McNabb. "Just being in that category with those athletes is truly great in that fashion," Howard said. 10 millionth: Citizens Bank Park reached a milestone on Wednesday, when the 10 millionth fan walked through the ballpark gates. Beth Robinson of Wallingford, Pa., attended the game with husband, Dave, and three sons, Matt, 15, John, 13, and Andrew, 8. "I never won anything in my life!" Robinson said, as Hall of Fame announcer Harry Kalas, along with the Phillie Phanatic, Phillies Ballgirls and Phanstormers showered her and her family with confetti, a dozen roses, a "10 millionth fan" Phillies jersey and a round of applause. The Robinsons received upgraded seats behind the Phillies dugout, a vacation to Phillies Spring Training in Clearwater, Fla., with round-trip Southwest Airline tickets, and a free Phillies partial season-ticket plan. Beth also threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Philling in: Left fielder Michael Bourn, starting his third straight game in left field, left Wednesday's game with leg cramps and was replaced by Greg Dobbs. ... Righty reliever Tom Gordon (strained rotator cuff) will pitch a simulated game on Thursday in Clearwater. ... Left-hander J.C. Romero tossed two innings in a simulated game in Clearwater on Wednesday. ... Camp Erin, a bereavement camp designed for children ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of a loved one, will open in Cincinnati next summer. The free camp will be created by the Moyer Foundation, founded in 2000 by Jamie and Karen Moyer, who have established camps in eight Major League cities. ... Speaking of Moyer, in a Sports Illustrated poll that was posted on Wednesday, 464 players responded to the question: Who is the softest-throwing pitcher in baseball? Moyer got 72 percent of the vote, well ahead of Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (14 percent). Others on the list included Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Kenny Rogers. Coming up: Right-hander Adam Eaton (7-5, 5.63 ERA) wasn't at his best against the Cardinals in his last outing, but he'll have a chance to rebound on Thursday night at 7:05 ET, when the Phillies take on righty Matt Belisle (5-5, 4.73 ERA) and the Reds in the series finale.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.