LOS ANGELES -- The Phillies have been playing good baseball for three weeks, and pitching is a big reason why.
They had won 16 of 20 games entering Friday night's game against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The pitching staff had a 3.86 ERA in that stretch (it had a 5.36 ERA before that), and Phillies starters are 7-0 with a 2.72 ERA in the seven games since Brett Myers left a May 27 game against the Marlins with a hip injury that likely ended his season.
But it is no secret Philadelphia continues to look for starting pitching help. A scout for a Major League team said the Phillies have been following Red Sox right-hander Brad Penny recently. ESPN.com reported recently that the Phillies called the Red Sox about Penny, and the Sox informed them it would take Triple-A infielder Jason Donald to get him.
The Phillies don't comment on potential trades, but that price might be too steep for Penny.
Penny is 5-1 in 10 starts, but he also has a 5.63 ERA and opponents have hit .310 against him.
Donald is hitting just .235 with one home run and 16 RBIs for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but the Phillies remain high on him.
Donald has value for Philadelphia because he could have an impact in the near future. He could be used as a super-utility player as early as next season. And the Phillies could use Donald at third base if they decide not to pick up Pedro Feliz's $5 million club option for 2010. Although with Feliz hitting .298 with two homers and 28 RBIs and continuing to play Gold Glove-caliber defense, it seems more likely they will.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.