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Eaton Sent Down

David Murphy has the joyous tidings. I imagine the Allied liberation of Paris in 1944 felt like this, though probably that wasn't as good...

Adam Eaton has been optioned to the minor leagues, paving the way for what should be the promotion of lefthander J.A. Happ from Triple A Lehigh Valley. Eaton has not been assigned to a specific classification because his schedule has not been announced.

Eaton, like Brett Myers before him, had the right to refuse the assignment. Eaton, 31, was 4-8 with a 5.80 ERA in 21 games (19 starts) for the Phillies this season.  His last two appearances came in relief. He allowed three runs yesterday in the Phillies' 12-10 win over the Braves.

Here are Eaton's 2008 numbers with the Phillies: 4-8, 5.80, 77 ERA+, 1.636 WHIP. Since the start of the 2007 season, he's 14-18 with a 6.10 ERA in 268 2/3 innings. 

It's hard to imagine Eaton coming back before September, if then. He's been so bad for so long--all while, evidently, enjoying good health--that it's difficult to imagine any role for him other than super-mop-up duties. But he's still owed something like $10.5 million--thanks again, Pat Gillick!--so the team probably doesn't want to foreclose the admittedly slender possibility of seeing some return for that huge investment. 

As for Happ, he's probably coming up to shoulder some of the lefty relief load--J.C. Romero has pitched in each of the last four games. But if Brett Myers doesn't show something in his start tomorrow against the Nationals, it's possible that he'll return to the bullpen and Happ will take his place in the rotation.