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03/22/08 6:25 PM ET
Durbin excels before rain arrives
Making rotation bid, righty tosses three perfect innings
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Rain forced the cancellation of Saturday's Grapefruit League game between the Phillies and Tigers before the stats could count, though Chad Durbin was able to shine. Before the game was called in the top of the fourth, the Phillies' right-hander tossed three perfect frames against his former team, striking out two. The outing came against the Tigers' starting lineup, minus shortstop Edgar Renteria. "I felt like I controlled everything," Durbin said. "The curveball is something to work on in the next game, but I threw strikes and kept them off balance." Manager Charlie Manuel pulled Durbin after three innings, an indication that the battle for the fifth-starter role had ended with Adam Eaton's outing on Friday in Fort Myers. Durbin signed this offseason to compete for that spot, or serve as a reliever. Not that he's thinking about that. "I'm not paid to think," Durbin said. "They told me I was done, so I'm done. The next time my name is on the list, that's when I'll go pitch. I feel like I can help in any role." Though he all but named Eaton the fifth starter on Saturday, Manuel didn't commit to Durbin in the bullpen, saying only that he likes his versatility. "We're not ready to announce that yet," Manuel said. "He's [pitched] in the bullpen and also started. That was his role last year."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.