Results tagged ‘ injuries ’
About a week ago, an MRI revealed that Chase Utley had patellar tendinitis in his right knee. He was prescribed rest and expected to show improvement quickly.
The usually quiet and reserved Utley normally says very little in regards to his physical condition. But in an interview today with Phillies beat-writer, Todd Zolecki, Utley stated, ” There is a little bit of concern.”
Knowing Utley’s usual demeanor, to hear him utter the words “a little bit of concern,” is akin to a normal person shouting, “Fire! Fire!” and sounding a very loud alarm. This is not good news.
Worse than Utley’s own words is the fact that a cortisone injection was needed. If a week of rest did nothing to alleviate the pain, one could speculate that the condition is more serious than originally diagnosed.
Patellar tendinitis can lead to small tears in the tendons over time and weakening or tears of the knee cartilage. If that occurs, surgery may be needed. The minimum recovery time of such a surgery is usually at least six months.
And while that may be jumping ahead a just a tad, the reality is that a cortisone injection to the knee is very bad news. Any swelling that cannot be reduced by rest indicates a real problem.
Should the Phillies sound the alarm and start looking for help at second base? It may be too early for that, however, it also could not hurt to have a back-up plan.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Over the last two days, both Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee saw their first spring training action on the mound. Halladay went two scoreless against his old team, the Blue Jays. And Lee gave up two runs in two innings today against the Tigers. Both Phillies aces are in the beginning stages of working out the kinks before the regular season.
But while some are easing their way into baseball shape, others need to play well now. Ben Francisco has taken the proverbial bull by the horns right from the start, as he is competing for the job in right field. Francisco is batting .400 with four hits and five RBI in ten at-bats.
As for his competition, Domonic Brown has yet to get a hit. He is 0 for 12. John Mayberry Jr. has not done too much either, hitting just .250. It looks like the job may be Francisco’s if the young guys do not step it up, fast.
Chase Utley is still resting after being diagnosed with right knee tendonitis. He is able to hit, but not doing any running. The issue has been downplayed by Utley and team management, but this may be something to keep a close eye on.
I had a few thoughts about how to keep Chase Utley healthy. Here are a few ideas:
Clone him. Use a different Utley clone each day to keep him fresh!
The Bionic Man: Replace bum body parts with super-powerful bionic parts:
Iron Man armor:
Store Utley in a protective bubble:
Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography
Also, if you are looking for some cool Phillies tees, check out The Phightins for some unique designs.
Yesterday I posed a question about Chase Utley and his health. Today, the Phillies finally spilled the beans and admitted that Utley has tendinitis in his right knee. An MRI revealed the issue which requires rest in order to heal.
While Utley has agreed to take things slow, the injury is still worrisome. According to the Mayo Clinic, knee tendinitis can involve a grocery list of complications including weakened leg muscles due to overcompensation, tendon tears and chronic pain. The recovery time is anywhere from weeks to months.
In my own personal experience, tendinitis can be chronic and linger for years. Utley has already stated that this is a condition he has dealt with in the past, so it appears to be an ongoing issue. How much it will hamper his future performance remains to be seen. But for now, it is not good news.
On to another sore subject, Jayson Werth made a very bad error in judgment this week when he trash-talked his former team. The Washington Post reported that Werth stated, “I hate the Phillies, too,” during a conversation with his new GM, Mike Rizzo.
I wonder which parts he hated. Could it be his 2008 World Series ring? Or maybe it was all the attention from fans who routinely professed their admiration of him? No, I’ll bet it was that the Phillies signed him when every other team in baseball assumed he was a washed-up, injury prone discard.
Then again, Werth is a National now. And I suppose all Nationals hate Philly for winning four straight division titles while they have done nothing but suck since moving to DC in 2005. Sounds like sour grapes from an underperforming club that has to beg fans of opponents to come to their ballpark just to sell tickets.
In another interview about Phillies fans outnumbering Nats fans in DC, Werth also said, “The reason why those people come over here is they don’t have a chance to watch their team in Philadelphia and as soon as we fill the seats with Nats fans those people are going to go away and we are going to regain homefield advantage and I am looking forward to that day too.”
News flash Werth – We see our team in Philly all the time. The reason most of us go to DC is because Nats tickets are super easy to get. And we do not mind the drive because we love and support our team, unlike most Nats fans who cannot be bothered to show up.
I will be honest; Werth has never been a favorite of mine. I have seen him treat fans badly and even watched him make rude, ignorant comments to small children who were politely asking for an autograph during a previous spring training. So frankly, the “hate” comment does not shock me.
But if Werth thinks his $126 million paycheck is going to fill seats in DC, he is in for a rude awakening. And if he is expecting a Pat Burrell-like greeting upon his return to Philadelphia, I am not sure that “rude awakening” would even begin to cover what Philly has in store for him.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Before today’s game against the Dodgers, Shane Victorino was activated off the DL and lefty Antonio Bastardo was sent to AAA to make room. Victorino did not start the game as Charlie Manuel had already told Ben Francisco he would start tonight. Victorino did pinch hit in the 8th and drew a walk. Francisco had a much more interesting game…more on that shortly.
Pitcher Joe Blanton started the game and sadly, had another Blah-anton-type outing. He allowed 3 runs right off the bat in the first inning. After 5 2/3 innings, Blanton had walked 4 batters, allowed 8 hits and 4 runs total. The hole was dug deeper by relief pitcher Chad Durbin who did not provide any relief. Durbin allowed a 2-run homer in the 7th to put the Phillies down 6-2.
But the damage did not end there. JC Romero pitched the 8th inning and while Romero has had trouble of late, this time it was the defense that let him down. Mike Sweeney missed a ground ball at first to start the inning. Carlos Ruiz had an error as well and two unearned runs scored. Jose Contreras came in to relieve Romero and gave up another run.
Down 9-2 going into the bottom of the 8th, it looked like this game was over. Then suddenly, the hits started coming. It began with 4 straight hits: singles from Placido Polanco, Sweeney, Jayson Werth and a double from Francisco. Wilson Valdez got another hit for the 4th run of the inning. The 9-6 score seemed a tad more manageable.
The Dodgers sent their closer in for the 9th, Jonathan Broxton. The same 4 players that ignited the 8th inning rally started another one in the 9th. Polanco was hit by a pitch; Sweeney and Werth both walked. Francisco got on base after an error and 2 runs scored. Just like that, the bases were loaded with no outs for Carlos Ruiz with a 9-8 score. Ruiz smashed a walk-off double to win the game!
The Phillies came back from a 7 run deficit to win the game and take 2 of 3 games in the series. When asked how he felt after the game, Ruiz told Gary Matthews, “I’m happy, I’m so happy.” Well Chooch, we are SO happy too! Werth then ran up behind him and dumped a bucket of Gatorade over Ruiz’s head. I supposed shaving cream pies are out of fashion now.
Next up: the Mets in New York for the weekend. Game time tomorrow is 7:10pm.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Roy Oswalt’s first home start in Philly went very, very well against the Dodgers tonight. He did not surrender a run while allowing 5 hits and 2 walks. Oswalt was finished after 7 innings with a really good strike-ball ratio of 73-36. It looked so easy, one may have thought that Oswalt could have pitched this game in his sleep. Yawn!
But as has been the case for Oswalt this year with both the Astros and the Phillies, he got very little run support. Domonic Brown collected the first run of the game in the 4th inning with a bases-loaded RBI ground-out. Raul Ibanez extended his hit streak to 18 games with an RBI-double in the 6th. However, in that same inning, the Phillies lost Ross Gload. He hit a double down the right field line and came up limping halfway to second base. Gload has been diagnosed with a groin strain.
If Gload goes on the DL, he will be the 16th Phillies player this year to land there. And he would be the 5th player on the DL right now, along with Ryan Howard, whom Gload was replacing at first base. Mike Sweeney took over for Gload tonight and may wind up playing a lot more than anyone expected.
With a 2-0 lead, the Phillies would now have to lean on their 8-9 combination of Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge. Getting a few extra runs would have been nice too, but that did not happen. In fact, the Phillies wasted a Wilson Valdez lead-off triple at one point and left runners on third base with less than 2 outs twice. It began to look more and more like this game would come down to the Phils bullpen.
And it did come down to the pen. Madson pitched a scoreless 8th and looked pretty solid. Lidge came in for the 9th with the same 2-0 lead and quickly got three outs for the save. Oswalt got his first win as a Phillie behind Lidge’s save, just as they both used to do for the Astros. Teammates once again, Lidge had to be thrilled to help out his friend.
The final game with the Dodgers will be at 7:05pm tomorrow night. The pitching match-up should be Joe Blanton vs. Clayton Kershaw. Blanton did well in his last outing; a solid follow-up performance would be nice.
In other news today, Chase Utley has been approved by his doctor to start swinging a bat again since the surgery on his thumb. Utley has been running drills and fielding balls so this is one more step towards getting him ready to play again. Utley expects to be back in the line-up either at the end of August or early September.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
While the big news of the day was the trade of Roy Oswalt to the Phillies, there was still a game to be played amidst all the hoopla. And tonight, the Phillies were looking for a 7-game home stand sweep.
Kyle Kendrick started against the D-Backs and did very well through 6 1/3 innings, allowing only one run. Kendrick did walk one batter in each of the first 3 innings, but settled in after that. With JA Happ gone in the trade today, the rotation spot belongs to Kendrick and he will need to keep up the solid pitching.
The Phillies offense, which has been on fire this entire home stand, finally sputtered a bit tonight. Carlos Ruiz hit an RBI double in the 5th to score Cody Ransom. The next inning, Raul Ibanez hit a solo homer to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead. But the offense ended there. They did have 9 hits off Joe Saunders, but could not score. Saunders had a very bad year with the Angels and was just traded to the D-Backs. He looked ripe for the picking, but the Phillies let him off the hook.
Chad Durbin finished pitching the 7th and Ryan Madson had a very good 8th inning. But manager Charlie Manuel left Madson in for the 9th. One can only assume this is because his confidence in Brad Lidge with a slim 1-run lead is just not there. And who could blame him. But Madson has not pitched more than an inning since coming off the DL and he quickly got into trouble, giving up a lead-off double to start the 9th.
JC Romero took over and allowed a single; a ground out then scored the runner from third, which was charged to Madson. With the game then tied, the drama continued. After an intentional walk and an unintentional walk, the bases were loaded for Romero. Gerardo Para stepped to the plate and grounded into his second double play of the night. Para was so upset, he slammed his helmet to the ground and was ejected by the first base umpire, Adrian Johnson.
The bad luck for Para seemed like good luck for the Phillies who entered the bottom of the 9th with a chance to win the game. But Jayson Werth, Ransom and Ruiz went down in order and the game headed into extra innings. In the 10th, Lidge was “Light’s Out” finally, sending the D-Backs down in order. So if they had put him in for the 9th, this game may have been over already. Go figure. But you just don’t know what you are going to get out of Lidge these days.
The Phillies loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with 2 outs. Ryan Howard, who was 0 for 4 on the night to that point, had a chance to redeem himself. But in the past few games, Howard has started to look very, very confused at the plate. And that translated into a strike out in the 10th to end the inning. During this home stand, Howard is hitting only .185 including the 0 for 5 tonight.
But more bottom of the order heroics were on the way. Ransom, Ruiz and Wilson Valdez, the 6, 7 and 8-hole hitters accounted for 7 of the Phillies 12 hits tonight. So it was only fitting that in the 11th, the same three guys would finally win the game for their team. Ransom walked, Ruiz singled and Valdez knocked in the winning run with a liner to centerfield. The final score was 3-2 which completed a 7-game home stand sweep.
By the way, the Braves lost tonight so the Phillies picked up one more game in the standings. They are now 2.5 games out of first place in the NL East.
Tomorrow there will more high drama surrounding the Phillies as Roy Oswalt takes the mound in pinstripes for the first time. He will face the Nationals in DC; game time is 7:05pm. That game marks the first in a 6-game, 7 day road trip; 3 with the Nats and 3 with the Marlins in Miami after the off day on Monday.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
The long awaited major league debut of Phillies top prospect Domonic Brown is finally in the books. Replacing Shane Victorino on the roster after he landed on the DL today, Brown played right field while Jayson Werth moved to center. And Brown could not have done much more to impress.
In his first at-bat, Brown smacked an RBI-double off the wall in centerfield, which was just a few feet away from a home run. He moved to third on a Carlos Ruiz single and scored on a Wilson Valdez ground out. Brown grounded out his second time up but singled and scored again in the 6th inning. He added a sac fly RBI later as well.
While I was not at the game, I did sneak a few photos off the TV:
So Brown went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI’s, one of those coming on a sac fly. While that may have exceeded expectations for a nervous rookie, even Ryan Howard said before the game that he expected “big things” from Brown today. Well, he got his wish.
And Jayson Werth looks like he got something as well; a new best friend! Werth and Brown chatted in the outfield a lot; not too unusual really. But they were also seen smiling and gabbing in the dugout a number of times. Then after scoring in the 6th, Brown followed Werth down the stairs into the dugout like an anxious puppy. In the 2nd, Brown got many high fives after his double and score, but only Werth gave him a big HUG!
While I am sure a lot of people would like to hug Brown right now, it seems only Werth will have that honor today ;o) And Werth has extra reasons to smile; with no other player who can handle centerfield, the odds of Werth being traded by the deadline are now slim to none. Also, Werth went 3 for 4 tonight. Not a bad day at all.
Another guy who did not have a bad day at all was Roy Halladay. With all the hoopla surrounding Brown, an outstanding performance from Halladay may have been slightly overlooked. But Halladay was on fire tonight, mowing down D-Backs hitters left and right. There was a scary moment in the 4th inning when Adam LaRoche smacked a liner right at Halladay. The ball hit him square in the backside.
Afterwards, pitching coach Rich Dubee said Halladay was just fine and that the ball “hit him in the meaty part.” So there you have it: Roy Halladay has a meaty butt. ;o) Sorry, I could not resist.
Halladay pitched a complete game but lost the shut-out in the 9th when the rookie Brown finally made a mistake. Brown dove for ball that he should have caught on a hop; instead the ball flew past him and a run scored. So Halladay’s scoreless innings streak ends at 33 innings. But I think we can all live with that ;o) GREAT job from Halladay, as usual!
And with the 7-1 win tonight, the Phillies extend their winning streak to 7 games overall and 10 game at home. Kyle Kendrick will pitch tomorrow night in the series finale. It is also 80′s night at the ballpark, which is always a fun type of promotion. Players shown on Phantavision are going to photoshopped into 80′s TV Stars. Howard will be Mr. T. That alone is worth the trip.
During yesterday’s game against the D-Backs, Shane Victorino had to leave the game with a left oblique strain. Today, Victorino was placed on the DL and Domonic Brown has been called up to take his place. Phillies fans have been impatiently waiting to see what Brown can do in the majors; well, here he comes.
Baseball America recently named Brown the top prospect in all of baseball. Brown has hit .346 in 28 games this year with the AAA Iron Pigs. Prior to that, he batted .318 for AA Reading in 65 games before getting promoted. Brown has been admired for his power and discipline at the plate, as well as his speed and defense.
It is likely with this move that Jayson Werth will play center in place of Victorino and Brown will go to right field. With the Phillies back in the NL East race, only 3.5 games behind the Braves, the pressure on Brown to perform will be overwhelming. And though he does seem to have the toughness and right attitude to excel in this situation, fans should remember he is a rookie. Please be kind to him. Thank you :O)
There has not been this much enthusiasm about a rookie since…okay well, just last month. When Stephen Strasburg made his debut for the Nationals on June 8th, people literally lost their minds in excitement. But in Philly, we may not have seen this kind of hype for a rookie since the days of Scott Rolen in 1996.
Again, I ask fans to please chill…this is not the reincarnation of Elvis; this is a right fielder. He has a lot of pressure on him already with Victorino going down, Chase Utley being out and Jimmy Rollins still nursing a sore foot. Feel free to cheer and be supportive, but do not expect miracles. Of course, if he goes 4 for 4 with a grand slam or something, I totally will not mind ;o) Best of luck to Brown tonight!
Photo by Yardbarker PicApp
It has been a while since Phillies fans have been treated to a home run barrage. Tonight, the Phillies embraced the long ball, knocking three 2-run homers out of the ballpark; once each in the 5th, 6th and 7th innings. Jayson Werth got the first one, which had to be a big relief for him. Werth has not hit a homer in over a month, since June 23rd. Ryan Howard and Cody Ransom collected the other two bombs.
Cole Hamels had a bit of a rough outing, so the homers were a welcome sight. In the 1st inning with two outs, Hamels allowed a single, hit a batter and walked two more, which walked a run home. In 5 innings, Hamels walked 4 batters, hit two batters and allowed 3 runs. So while he was not at his best, he did still keep the team in the game.
David Herndon pitched one inning in relief and had some trouble as well. With one run already across, it looked like Herndon had a ground ball double play to end the inning. Placido Polanco fielded the ball, tagged the runner and tossed to first. But the runner going to second was called safe, despite insistence from both Polanco and manager Charlie Manuel that he did indeed tag the runner. The ump did not see it and another run scored.
But the home runs kept coming and the Phillies took the lead right back. Then in the 7th, Shane Victorino caught what appeared to be a routine fly ball but was wincing in pain before the ball even arrived. He called the trainer over and was taken out of the game. The report is that Victorino has a left oblique strain. Oblique strains are tricky so if he lands on the DL, it would not be shocking.
What is shocking is that the Phillies cannot seem to catch a break with all the injuries. Yesterday, Jimmy Rollins got hurt when he fouled a ball off his foot. He seems to be feeling better, but may still miss another game or two. Now Victorino; plus Chase Utley is still recovering from his thumb injury and at one point, the Phils had seven players on the DL all at once.
The injuries are getting old; but the current win streak, despite the injuries, is certainly not getting old. After sweeping the Rockies in 4 games, they beat the D-Backs tonight by a score of 9-5 for their 6th straight win. The rookie Herndon picked up his first major league win. In addition, the Braves lost tonight so the Phillies gain a game on them. The Phils are now 3.5 games out of first.
There are two more games with the D-Backs left before the Phillies hit the road again. As for Victorino, we should know more tomorrow. If he lands on the DL, the Phils will probably call up either Domonic Brown or John Mayberry to take his spot. I know everyone will be rooting for Brown, but Mayberry may get the nod because he has already been in the majors and they may not want to start the clock on Brown’s options just yet. But my vote is that Victorino is okay…here’s hoping.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Not many would have guessed at the beginning of the season that a 4-game series against the worst team in the National League and 2nd worst in all of baseball would be such a huge turning point for the Phillies. But this series with the Pirates has become just that. With 7 players and major contributors on the DL, a banged-up back-up catcher and 2 losses to the Bucos already behind them, the Phillies next two games could make or break their season.
The Phillies are five games behind the Braves after last night’s 0-2 shut-out loss to the Pirates. They do have a series with the Braves next, but if they lose 3 or even 4 games in this Pirates series, they will not have much left to bring to the Braves series. Getting whipped by a last place team will mean that they have allowed the injuries to win.
Plus, last night this team looked like it was sleep-walking. Like the energy and confidence has been sucked right out of them. The only player who still looked determined was Jamie Moyer, who pitched six solid innings and allowed only one earned run. Moyer has been rock solid in his last several starts. The rest of the team looks like runny oatmeal.
Oddly enough, the only position player showing some life is back-up Wilson Valdez. Even Jimmy Rollins said after the game about Valdez, “My man right here, he’s got some swag.” Last night was the 3rd multi-hit game for Valdez in his last 4 games. He has also hit 2 home runs in those games. While it is great to see a bench guy step-up like this, where is the rest of the team?
Charlie Manuel said yesterday that he moved Raul Ibanez to the 2-spot in the lineup because “he is a high on-base percentage guy.” Really? Because every starter on the team has a higher OBP than Ibanez who is in 11th place at .322. Not to mention, Ibanez had only 5 hits in 96 at-bats in the month of June. What part of this screams 2-hole hitter?
It is moves like this that make people wonder. It appears that Manuel is grasping at straws trying to get his team back into action. What the Phillies really need is a bucket of ice down the pants to wake them up.
The team did get a small bit of good news. Back-up catcher Brian Schneider has a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb; yes, the exact same injury Chase Utley was said to have. Except, Utley wound up with a torn ligament where Schneider says he just needs a few days to rest and can play in an emergency. Schneider is one of the tough guys; you have to love that.
So it boils down to these next few games. Will the Phillies fold under the pressure or come out swinging? They have overcome a lot in years past so there is no reason to think they cannot do it. But this time, if they cannot get back on track fast, it may be too big a hill to climb later. Game time tonight is 7:05pm.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography