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Aaron Harang placed on disabled list

Aaron Harang on Thursday became the latest Phillies starter to land on the disabled list, further increasing the chances the struggling righthander remains with the team beyond the July 31 trade deadline.

A day after allowing a season-worst eight runs and 14 hits in a 9-5 loss, the 37-year-old Harang received a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. The move was made in conjunction with Chad Billingsley's being activated from the disabled list. Billingsley started Thursday against the Brewers.

Wednesday's loss made Harang the first Phillies pitcher to lose eight consecutive starts since Jim Nash in 1972. He had not publicly indicated that he had any health problems.

"Arm feels great," he said Wednesday when asked about his health. "Velocity's still been there. Everything's fine. It's just pitches were up today."

Harang, who was not available for comment Thursday, told interim manager Pete Mackanin that his landing foot had bothered him his last three starts or so. The veteran has had plantar fasciitis before. Mackanin said the injury is "probably a good reason" the pitcher's command has been lacking.

"He's a gamer. He doesn't want to say that he couldn't do it," Mackanin said. "Unfortunately we're going to lose him for a little bit. But I think if he gets that straight, I think he can get back on track and we'll see him like he was early in the season."

Harang emerged as a potential trade chip over the season's first two months. His ERA was an impressive 2.02 through his first 11 starts. In his last six it has ballooned to 4.08.

The coming all-star break could mean he misses only two starts. If he hadn't gone on the shelf, the Phillies would have had a decision to make upon activating Billingsley: either designate Sean O'Sullivan or Kevin Correia for assignment or option Adam Morgan.

Given that the Phillies are rebuilding, more looks at the 25-year-old Morgan were likely. Harang's injury ensured that, and Morgan will make his first major- league road start Friday in Atlanta against his hometown Braves. He grew up about 20 miles northwest of Turner Field in Marietta and has attended countless games at the ballpark as a fan.

"I feel like any big league game is exciting to throw in, but it will be nice to have my family and friends there, the ones that couldn't make it up here [for my debut]," he said. "Same goal in mind: go out there and try to win a game."

International day

On the first day of the international signing period, the Phillies' expected agreement to sign 16-year-old Dominican slugger Jhailyn Ortiz was for a $4.2 million bonus, according to reports.

The Phillies, according to reports, also signed 16-year-old Venezuelan catcher Rafael Marchan for $200,000.

Extra bases

Maikel Franco was named the National League rookie of the month for June after hitting .352 with eight home runs and 24 RBIs in 27 games. ... Jerome Williams is set to throw Friday in the bullpen for the second time since his June 16 hamstring strain. ... David Buchanan started for triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday, his first official start since spraining his ankle on May 17.