According to the Toronto Sun, Phillies assistant general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. was in attendance on Saturday at the Rogers Centre. Naturally, the speculation would be that Amaro was evaluating Josh Towers, the Blue Jays starter that day.
For the day, Towers threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners. On the season, Towers has a 4.97 ERA (92 ERA+) but sports a nice 60/14 K/BB ratio in 83 1/3 innings pitched. Towers had good years in 2003 and 2005 before a disastrous 2006 (8.42 ERA).
What interests the Phillies, or at least it should, is that Towers can keep the ball on the ground, a key to success at Citizens Bank Park. In addition, Towers is eligible for arbitration at the end of the season, so he would not be a long-term commitment if the Phillies decided to non-tender him.
Complicating matters, though it’s a nice problem to have, is the success of Kyle Kendrick and J.D. Durbin the in the Phillies rotation, combining for a 6-2 record as starters. Kendrick has turned in quality start after quality start and Durbin has allowed only one run in his previous two starts combined. The likelihood of the Phillies making a deal is directly dependent on their confidence in these two pitchers.
No word on what the Blue Jays would be seeking in return for Towers.
Tom Goyne is the author of Balls, Sticks, & Stuff, a Phillies-centric site, and maintains the Phloggers’ Pheeds page, a source for the latest commentary from around the "phlogosphere". Recently, he teamed up with his brother to launch Roto Front Office. He can be reached via email at trg at ballssticksstuff dot com.