Results tagged ‘ Greg Dobbs ’

Utley Has Surgery, Out Eight Weeks

Chase Utley had surgery today in New York to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb.

The Phillies said he will miss approximately eight weeks. Hand specialist Andrew Weiland will perform the surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

(Read the full story here.)

Utley injured his thumb Monday, sliding head first into second base in the fourth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Utley remained in the game until he could not grip his bat in the ninth-inning.

Utley had hit .367 with one home run and 11 RBIs in his last 13 games. It’s obviously a major blow for the Phillies, but it is not unexpected. Teammates had said over the past couple days they expected him to miss a significant period of time.

Utley has done a good job in the past coming back from injuries. He broke his hand in 2007. He had surgery July 27, 2007, with the timetable to return three to four weeks. He returned Aug. 28. Utley had hip surgery following the 2008 season, with the timetable to return four to six months. He had the surgery Nov. 24, which meant he might not have been back until late May 2009. Utley was ready by Opening Day.

The Phillies traded for second baseman Tadahito Iguchi in 2007, when Utley missed a month. It would seem they need a second baseman or third baseman – Placido Polanco is on the disabled list with inflammation in his left elbow, and his timetable to return is unknown – but Proefrock downplayed the urgency to get help.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily a situation where we have to go get somebody,” Proefrock said.

But he said they are talking about it. Names that have been mentioned include Ty Wigginton, Miguel Tejada and Kelly Johnson.

“We’re always looking to improve the club,” Proefrock said. “It’s a continual process. That hasn’t changed. We talk about those kinds of things every day, so maybe the focus is a little different than it was.”

Polanco got a second opinion today from orthopedist David Altchek in New York. The Phillies said he will miss three to four weeks. 

“We’re not the only team that has injuries,” Proefrock said. “We’ve got a tremendous amount of talent still out on the field, and they need to step it up and do their jobs. (Wilson) Valdez has filled in very well when Jimmy (Rollins) was out at shortstop. He’s already done very well the first couple times he’s been at second base. Dobber (Greg Dobbs) has proven that when he gets to play regularly he can be a productive offensive player. He’s going to get that opportunity again. We just need everybody to do their jobs.”

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Utley, Polanco to the DL

utley and polanco.jpgIt could be weeks. It could be months.

The Phillies said they do not know how much time Chase Utley and Placido Polanco will miss because of a sprained right thumb and an injured left elbow, respectively. They just know they are on the 15-day disabled list and will be sorely missed, the latest casualties on a team that has seven players on the DL.

The Phillies called up Greg Dobbs and Brian Bocock to take their places on the 25-man roster, but losing Utley and Polanco clearly leaves a major hole in the lineup. Utley had hit .367 with one home run and 11 RBIs in his last 13 games. He is arguably the best second baseman in baseball. Polanco had hit .318 with five homers and 27 RBIs for the season.

“We’re a good team,” said Jayson Werth, asked how the Phillies can survive. “We have faith in each other. We’ve been here before. We’re resilient. We lost Jimmy (Rollins) in ’08. We lost Chase in ’07. We lost J-Roll this year. We’re still where we’re at. We play the (National League) East a lot in September.”

Utley sprained the ulnar collateral ligament of his right thumb in last night’s 7-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Utley had a MRI this morning in Cincinnati, but returned to Philadelphia in the afternoon for further testing tomorrow. The Phillies said once they know the severity of the sprain, they will know how to treat it. It could require surgery, although Phillies head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan said that would not necessarily mean a longer stint on the DL.

“Look back at Chase’s fracture of his hand,” said Sheridan, referring to the broken hand that kept Utley out for a month in 2007. “We decided to pin that. If we didn’t pin it, it could have been four weeks. When we did pin it, it was four weeks. Again, we’ve got to get better information. That’s the biggest question going forward: how do you treat it?”

Sheridan said there remain some questions on the grading of the sprain – a Grade 1 is the least severe, a Grade 3 is the most severe – and until they know the grading they cannot recommend a treatment for it.

Polanco has been bothered with inflammation in his left elbow since a pitch hit him there April 21. He received cortisone injections May 31 and Sunday, but the latest shot did not take like they had hoped. The Phillies and Polanco said they thought he could be back in the lineup today, but that changed late last night.

“We weren’t satisfied with the way he responded to the treatment,” Sheridan said.

(more…)

Dobbs Clears Waivers, Heads to Lehigh Valley on Friday

Greg Dobbs has cleared waivers and has accepted his assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, according to a source.

He will report Friday.

Dobbs is expected to play every day with Lehigh Valley, where the Phillies hope he rediscovers his swing so he can be called up and help off the bench like they helped in 2007-08.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Dobbs Out, Ruiz DL, Rollins Back, Zagurski Back

The Phillies just announced they have designated Greg Dobbs for assignment.

They also placed Carlos Ruiz on the 15-day disabled list with a concussion, activated Jimmy Rollins from the DL and recalled Mike Zagurski. Scott Mathieson also has been optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. This means the Phillies bench is Juan Castro, Wilson Valdez, Brian Schneider, Ross Gload and Ben Francisco.

I’m not completely shocked the Phillies designated Dobbs. He has struggled. He is hitting just .152 with one homer and six RBIs, and is just 1-for-25 as a pinch-hitter. I’ll get the details on the DFA, but if he is not traded and clears waivers I believe the Phillies could outright him to Triple-A where he could play regularly, get at-bats and possibly rejoin the Phillies once he’s hitting better.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Amaro: This is Our Team

Ruben Amaro Jr. chatted with reporters for more about 13 minutes today at Yankee Stadium.

Here are the highlights:

Q: Are you concerned?
A: I’m paid to be concerned. That’s my job. We’ve gone through a tough time, but it’s not like it’s the first time we’ve gone through a tough time since I’ve been in the front office. I think we’ll be OK. We’re concerned, yes. But I think we’ll be OK. We were (6-17) last June. Pretty horrendous.

Q: But the offense wasn’t struggling this much. That’s the difference, right?
A: Yeah, but I’d like to have this happen because I know we’re going to hit. I believe we’re going to hit. We’re not where we want to be obviously with the way we’ve played, but we will be, I think.

Q: Are you mystified at Chase Utley’s struggles?
A: Everybody is kind of a little bit confused by that, including him probably. But I think all of us know what Chase is. He’s a quality run producer and one of the best offensive players in the league. At the end of the day he’ll prove that to be the truth again.

Q: Raul Ibanez’s power numbers are down. Is there a chance he’s gotten old real quick?
A: What I think has happened, this is just my opinion, he’s still the first part of the season getting his legs underneath him. I think having a surgery – two surgeries like that – are pretty significant. I still think he’s getting his sea legs under him. I think he’s swinging the bat better of late.

Q: So you don’t see a slower bat?
A: I do not.

Q: The bench has struggled. Why? Is there a chance to upgrade?
A: I think Ben has been swinging the bat well. Dobb has had his struggles. I don’t know that Gload has played a lot, so it’s hard to get a rhythm. Obviously we want everybody to perform better. It’s got to start with the guys that are playing every day. That’s probably the most important thing. I’m actually OK with how the bench has played to be frank with you. It’s just as a team we have to play better baseball.

Q: And Dobbs?
A: He’s struggled. He’s had his struggles. There’s no question about it. But he’s not alone.

Q: Sounds like you’re in a stay the course mode?
A: We’re not making any major moves here. This is our team out here and they’ll be fine. If we get the guys healthy we’ll be fine.

Q: Why don’t you feel a shakeup would work?
A: Because the guys have track records and they’re good players and they’re championship-caliber players and they will be again. Do you dismiss the idea that you’ll make a deal of some substance? I don’t know if there’s anybody better than the players we … we have one of the best nine in the game. I’ll challenge anybody if they don’t think we have one of the best nine players on the field.

Q: Could you add starting pitching?
A: Pitching is always the issue. Everybody is always looking for the same thing. Again, a lot of it depends on how Happ progresses. We’ve got to get Madson back. I like our chances when both of those guys are back. It gives us quite a bit of depth, I think. We’ve got to get these guys healthy. That’s the most important element of what we need to do right now.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Rollins Back to the DL

Jimmy Rollins is back on the disabled list, but the Phillies said he could be back in 15 days.

Rollins strained his right calf during last night’s victory over the Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park. It is the second time this season Rollins has been on the DL because of a strained right calf, but Ruben Amaro Jr. said before tonight’s game that the latest strain is not as severe as the first.

“It’s a Grade 1 strain, much, much milder than his last one,” Amaro said. “But we didn’t want to mess around with it, so we decide we’ve got to get it taken care of. I think this is a two-week thing. I wouldn’t see this going much more than the DL stint. In fact, it might not take that long, but we can’t afford to put ourselves in a position where it turns into something serious and we can’t leave the team short [a player on the bench].”

The Phillies called up infielder Wilson Valdez to take Rollins’ place on the 25-man roster. Valdez just cleared waivers after the Phillies designated him for assignment Monday, when they activated Rollins from his first DL stint. The Phillies were fortunate Valdez cleared waivers. If he had been claimed by another team, Triple-A Lehigh Valley shortstop Brian Bocock and Double-A Reading shortstop Freddy Galvis would have been candidates to take Rollins’ place.

But will Rollins’ injury hinder him throughout the season? Greg Dobbs and Shane Victorino know it can linger.

Dobbs played through a strained calf through 2009, and said it only felt completely healthy until the offseason. He still wears a protective sleeve over the calf, which he said helps prevent another injury. Victorino spent July 31-Aug. 21, 2007, on the DL with a strained right calf. He strained the calf again Aug. 24, in just his third game back. He returned to action in the second game of a doubleheader Aug. 27 and played in 22 games (six starts) the rest of the regular season. Victorino also said he never felt completely healthy until the offseason.

“It [stinks],” Victorino said. “Hopefully [Rollins] gets better, but it can linger.”

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Where in the World Is Jimmy Rollins? And Werth?


rollins 1019.jpgJimmy Rollins
was a very late scratch from this afternoon’s home opener at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies announced that Rollins strained his right calf while working out in the outfield before the game.

Juan Castro took Rollins’ place at shortstop, but what threw everybody through a loop is that Rollins participated in BP, warmed up on the field and got introduced during pregame introductions.

Then suddenly everybody noticed Castro warming up a shortstop before the top of the first inning.

This is the first time Castro has played this season.

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So what do we know about calf strains? We know Greg Dobbs suffered one throughout 2009. It eventually put him on the DL from Aug. 23 – Sept. 16, but he said it never truly got better until the offseason.

Shane Victorino spent time on the DL twice with calf strains: July 31 – Aug. 21, 2007, and April 13 – 28, 2008.

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Jayson Werth left the game before the sixth inning because of soreness in his left hip. It is unknown how severe the injury is. Ben Francisco took his place in right field.

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And what happens tomorrow? Rollins is scheduled to participate in a contest to set the Guiness World Record for longest batted ball.

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I will be signing copies of my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Uglyfrom 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Borders on S. Broad Street in Center City. I hope you can stop by. The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Howard, Contreras and More


howard 0323 2010.jpgRyan Howard
hit two homers today in a Grapefruit League game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

And that means what exactly?

“That hopefully April 5 is getting closer,” he said.

It can be difficult to gauge what a Spring Training means, but players happily take the good ones over the bad. And so far is Howard is having a good one. He is hitting .356 (16-for-45) with three homers and eight RBIs in 16 games. He also has walked five times.

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Jose Contreras (6.48 ERA in six appearances) worked out of a sixth-inning jam. With a runner on second and one out, he got Carlos Pena to ground out and Pat Burrell to strike out to end the inning.

“He’s got good stuff,” Manuel said. “That right there is a good place for him to come into the game.”

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Manuel on his lineup: “We’re going to score some runs. We’ve got a chance to put together a big offensive year. If we just stay focused and we can get going right, we’re going to have some .300 hitters and we’re going to score some runs.”

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Greg Dobbs went 2 for 4 and is hitting .345 this spring. A calf injury slowed him last season, but he is moving better this spring.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Ready to Go

werth 01.jpg

The Phillies’ first full squad workout is tomorrow and everybody is here. Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth and Greg Dobbs arrived today for physicals. The first game action is March 3 against Florida State at Bright House Field. The first Grapefruit League game is March 4 against the Yankees at Bright House Field.

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Brad Lidge threw a bullpen session this morning as scheduled. He is believed to be ahead of schedule and remains a possibility to be on the Opening Day roster.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Philadelphia Phillies” is available online, and will be in Delaware Valley bookstores SOON!

Take A Break

Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock negotiatied the contract extensions for Joe Blanton, Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz. He also negotiated the contract for Chad Durbin, who avoided salary arbitration.

Proefrock might not be as busy next January.

Ben Francisco and Greg Dobbs will be eligible for salary arbitration after the season. Kyle Kendrick and Scott Mathieson also could be eligible for arbitration, if they qualify as “Super Two” players.

A “Super Two” has less than three years of big-league service time, but more than two. He basically must rank in the top 17 percent in total service amongst players with more than two, but less than three years of service time … with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season.

Complicated? Yeah, but don’t sweat it. I’ll try to let you know when it matters. Right now it really doesn’t.

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Charlie Manuel held a news conference earlier this afternoon and confirmed that Jose Contreras will be in the bullpen. The Phillies haven’t announced it because Contreras hasn’t taken his physical. Manuel said they will start him in Spring Training to build up his arm strength, but put him in the pen when the season starts.

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Details on Ruiz’s contract:

He will make $1.9 million this season, $2.75 million in 2011 and $3.7 million in 2012. The club has a $500,000 buyout on its 2013 option, or they will pay him $5 million. Ruiz also receives $100,000 performance bonuses for 120, 130 and 140 games started. Any of those bonuses reached in any year will be added to his 2013 salary.

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