Results tagged ‘ Scott Proefrock ’

Baez to DL Creates Postseason Roster Flexibility

The Phillies gained postseason roster flexibility today when they placed right-hander Danys Baez on the 15-day disabled list with back spasms.

The Phillies, who recalled left-hander Antonio Bastardo from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Baez’s place, have 28 players eligible for the postseason. They have the players on the current 25-man roster, plus the three players on the disabled list: Baez, Ross Gload and Jamie Moyer.

“We’d have one wild card, which would be Jamie’s spot,” assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said.

Moyer is a wild card because he will not pitch again this season. The Phillies can replace Moyer with anybody who is in the organization on Aug. 31. In other words, if they wanted to call up a player from Class A Lakewood they could do that. That is how left-hander J.A. Happ made the postseason roster in 2008. Pitchers Scott Mathieson and Mike Zagurski were on the 60-day disabled list, which allowed the Phillies to take Happ, who was a September call-up.

The Phillies got creative in 2009, when they selected the contract of injured right-hander John Ennis and immediately placed him on the 15-day disabled list. That is unlikely to happen to this year, but there are ways to get more flexibility. Now that Baez is on the DL, the Phillies won’t have to use their wild card on Bastardo, if they would want him on the postseason roster.

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

Utley Is A Miracle Man, Tuesday Return Likely

utley 0628 2010.jpgUPDATED 8:08 p.m. Saturday: If everything goes smoothly, Chase Utley will be back in the Phillies lineup Tuesday.

The Phillies announced this morning that Utley, who is recovering from surgery on his right thumb, will begin a rehab assignment tonight with Class A Clearwater. He will play five innings in the field.

He will play seven innings Sunday, nine innings in Game 1 of a doubleheader Sunday and nine innings as a DH in Game 2 of the doubleheader. He will be reevaluated then, but if he feels fine he should be back in the lineup Tuesday against the Giants.

Sources said yesterday that Utley, who had surgery July 1, is ahead of schedule and could rejoin the team as early as Tuesday against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park. CBSSports.com first reported Utley told teammates he hoped to rejoin the team Tuesday.

Asked last night if Utley could play in a rehab game Saturday with Clearwater, Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said, “It depends how he feels.”

Utley felt fine after swinging a bat Friday in Clearwater, Fla.

Utley tore a ligament in his right thumb June 28 in Cincinnati. He had surgery three days later, and the Phillies estimated it would take him eight weeks to recover, which would have put him back in the lineup around Sept. 1. If Utley returns Tuesday, he would be returning roughly two weeks ahead of schedule.

Utley has been a quick healer in the past. He had hip surgery following the 2008 World Series championship. The Phillies estimated a four-to-six month recovery period, which meant he might not have been back until late May 2009.

Utley was playing in Spring Training games in March and was in the 2009 Opening Day lineup.

Tuesday is realistic because Utley has not needed many games in the past to get ready following an injury. When he missed a month with a broken right hand in 2007, he went 1-for-10 in three rehab games before rejoining the Phillies. He hit .321 with seven doubles, two triples, five home runs, 21 RBIs and a .916 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 32 games to finish the season.

Clearwater plays at home at Bright House Field on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. If Utley needs just three games again, he could play with the Threshers and return to Philadelphia on Tuesday.

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

Utley Gets OK to Start Hitting

Chase Utley has clearance to start swinging a bat again.

Utley, who had surgery July 1 to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb, visited hand specialist Andrew Weiland today in New York. Weiland, who performed the surgery, told Utley he could begin hitting.

“Which is very positive news from our perspective,” assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. “From this point forward it’s going to be a matter of how he feels and how he progresses. We’re still on the same timetable we’ve been on before. It’s gone pretty much according to plan to this point.”

The Phillies originally estimated Utley would miss eight weeks, which would set his return for Sept. 1.

“I don’t think anything has changed from that perspective,” Proefrock said. “If it progresses faster than that, great. If it’s a little slower than that, great. The main thing is Chase is healthy and ready to play at his full capacity when he comes back.”

Utley has said he hopes to return before the end of the month.

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

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!

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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Phillies vs. Braves – 3/8

We’re back in Lake Buena Vista. Here is the lineup for today’s game against the Braves:

1. Marcus Giles, 3B
2. Jayson Werth, CF
3. Raul Ibanez, LF
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. John Mayberry Jr., RF
6. Jason Donald, 2B
7. Eric Bruntlett, SS
8. Ronny Paulino, C
9. Joe Blanton, P

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Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock had an update on Carlos Ruiz, who left yesterday’s WBC game because of a neck injury: “Apparently there was a collision in the game. Subsequent to that, I guess he was chasing a pop up, he flipped his mask off and he felt it. So they took him out of the game. It was diagnosed as a neck strain. He was treated, sent home after the game and they’ll reevaluate him today when he comes back in.”

It doesn’t sound serious, and it’s unclear if Ruiz will play in Panama’s next WBC game.

UPDATE: Ruiz is OK. He is taking BP and is in the starting lineup for today’s game against the Dominican Republic.

UPDATE II: Ruiz told Will Gonzalez, who is covering the WBC for MLB.com: “I feel good. I feel a little sore but I can play.” Ruiz also said he had no regrets about playing in the WBC: “I had to come. The President of Panama called me, and my mom wanted me to do it for our country.”

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