Results tagged ‘ Wilson Valdez ’

Polanco Has Back Injury, Out of Lineup

Placido Polanco said his left elbow felt fine yesterday.

Nobody asked him about his back.

Polanco is not in the lineup tonight for Game 1 of the NLDS against the Reds because of soreness in the middle of his back. Ruben Amaro Jr. said they never considered leaving Polanco off the NLDS roster because they expect him to eventually play in the series.

“It wasn’t so alarming that we thought it would affect our roster,” Amaro said in the dugout at Citizens Bank Park. “If it was more serious, yeah.”

Wilson Valdez, who hit .258 with four home runs and 35 RBIs in 333 at-bats, will start at third base and hit eighth. Charlie Manuel had planned to have Shane Victorino hit leadoff and Polanco second, but with Polanco out Manuel will hit Jimmy Rollins leadoff and Victorino second.

It certainly is a big loss for the Phillies. Polanco hit .298 with six homers and 52 RBIs in 554 at-bats and played solid defense at third base. Amaro said he still hoped Polanco could play Wednesday, perhaps as a pinch-hitter, although Manuel sounded pessimistic.

“He came in and told me that he couldn’t bend over,” Manuel said. “He said it hurt when he bent over. He said it hurt when he turned left or right. I’m concerned.”


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.”


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 Likely to Be Activated Today

Jimmy Rollins could return to the Phillies lineup tonight.

I assume he will be activated before tonight’s series opener against the Indians. Whose place does he take on the 25-man roster? There are a few options:

1. Carlos Ruiz or Dane Sardinha. If testing hasn’t gone well for Ruiz, who got hit in the head with a bat Friday, they could place him on the DL. If Ruiz is healthy and ready to return to the field, Sardinha could go.
2. Wilson Valdez or Juan Castro. The reason is obvious here. Valdez took Rollins’ place on the roster — twice. He could be odd man out again. But Charlie Manuel clearly favors Valdez over Castro. They always could release Castro, but that seems pretty risky to me considering Rollins has been able to stay healthy for just 12 games this season. If they lose Valdez or Castro and Rollins got hurt a third time, they would be looking at bringing up Brian Bocock or Freddy Galvis. Not exactly ideal for a team trying to return to the World Series.
3. Somebody else. They’ve surprised me before.


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.”


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!

Phillies Sweep Brewers, Stay Hot

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It’s late in Milwaukee, which means I might have to hit up a George Webb on the way home.

But first a few notes about the Phillies’ 4-2 victory last night over the Brewers:

  • The Phillies have won 11 of their last 14 games.
  • They are 23-13, which is the best record in the National League.
  • They swept the Brewers for the first time at Miller Park since 2004.
  • Cole Hamels allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings. He is 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA in his last three starts. “I feel like I’ve come a long way with making the adjustments, getting used to the new pitches and just trying to attack,” Hamels said. “Trying to make the hitters, attacking, attacking, attacking. Knowing to back off, knowing to hit my spots, knowing when to go up and down, I think I’ve finally been able to figure it out. I think that’s just kind of something you have to be able to do over and over.”
  • J.C. Romero picked up his first save since July 10, 2008.
  • The Brewers retired the Phillies in order just four times in the entire series.
  • The Phillies’ 7-8-9 hitters hit .353 (12-for-34) with 11 runs scored and four RBIs. “The top six guys in this lineup are really good,” said Paul Hoover, who hit .500 (5-for-10) with two doubles, two RBIs and six runs scored in the series. “It’s unfortunate for the team that Jimmy (Rollins) and Juan (Castro) are a little banged up and Brian (Schneider) and Carlos (Ruiz) are a little banged up, but we’re just trying to come here and contribute the best way we can.”
  • Shane Victorino hit .533 (8-for-15) with a home run, seven RBIs and four runs scored against the Brewers.
  • The Phillies are 13-7 on the road, which is the best mark in the National League.
  • I went 2 of 3 in the famous Sausage Race. I correctly picked Polish on Friday and Hot Dog on Sunday. Picked Hot Dog on Saturday, but he finished a close second to Polish.


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 Is Headed to Philly

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for rollins 0614.jpgThe Phillies should have Jimmy Rollins back in the lineup tomorrow night.

Rollins, who has been on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf since April 13, flew from Florida to Philadelphia today.

He will be evaluated tomorrow, and assuming that goes well he will be activated before their series opener against the Pirates at Citizens Bank Park. Rollins has played in one rehabilitation game with Single-A Clearwater, plus a few extended Spring Training games. Reports have been good.

“What we missed is that Jimmy is an all-around player,” Manuel said. “You can’t put his value in one area. He can run. He can throw. He’s a switch-hitter. He can steal bases. He can make deep throws on the cutoff. He can play defense. He’s an all-around player. He’s one of the better players in the league. Yeah, we’ve missed him. Our lineup is better with Jimmy in there.”

Wilson Valdez took Rollins’ place on the roster, so he likely will be bumped to make room for him. Because Valdez is out of options, he would have to clear waivers to remain with the Phillies.


Stats Inc. passed these along Friday. Sorry I didn’t post them until tonight:

  • Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is off to a terrific start, aided by his patience at the plate. He leads all National League regulars by averaging 4.55 pitches per plate appearance, and he’s been productive when he gets ahead in the count. When he goes up 2-0, Ruiz is 6-for-8 with 15 walks, good for a .913 OBP. He’s been retired only twice in 23 plate appearances after starting 2-0. He’s reached all nine times he has gone 3-1 in the count, going 3-for-3 with six walks. In 20 full-count situations, Ruiz is 4-for-12 (.333) with eight walks and a .600 OBP.
  • Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard saw breaking stuff on 39.7 percent of all pitches he faced during the 2009 season, the highest percentage among all major leaguers who qualified for the batting title. The Yankees fed him a steady dose of breaking balls in the World Series, a tack that proved successful, so it’s not surprising that Howard is seeing an even higher percentage of breaking stuff this spring. It’s currently a single-season high of 41.1 percent, which again leads all batting title qualifiers.


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 Lands on DL

Thumbnail image for rollins 0614.jpgThe Phillies have announced that Jimmy Rollins has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf.

They said Tuesday’s MRI revealed a Grade 1/2 strain. Rollins injured his calf during pregame warmups Monday at Citizens Bank Park.

“We believe it to be a mild to moderate strain and we’re hopeful it will be a two-to-four week recovery,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. “As in all of our injuries, precautions will be taken so that Jimmy is 100 percent when he returns to the field.”

The Phillies selected infielder Wilson Valdez‘s contract from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Rollins’ place on the 25-man roster.

Rollins is eligible to be activated as early as April 28 in San Francisco.

“Rollins, evidently he’s got like what they call a between a 2 and 1 degree calf, kinda, tear,” Manuel said earlier to Jim Duquette and Kevin Kennedy on Sirius XM’s MLB Home Plate. “And he’s gonna miss some time. … I mean, he’s definitely going to be out some time. How much, I don’t know yet, but he’s hurt pretty bad.”

Losing Rollins is a blow to the Phillies’ offense, but not a crippling one. Rollins did not start a game from April 9 to May 8, 2008, because of a sprained left ankle, and the Phillies went 16-12, scoring 4.9 runs per game. They averaged 4.9 runs per game with Rollins healthy in the other 134 games.

Ryan Howard missed 13 games in 2007 because of a strained left quad. The Phillies went 8-5, scoring 5.1 runs per game. They scored 5.5 runs per game with Howard healthy in the other 149 games.

Chase Utley missed 28 games in 2007 because of a fractured right wrist. The Phillies went 15-13, averaging 5.4 runs per game. They scored 5.5 runs per game with Utley healthy in the other 134 games.

The Phillies have enough offensive firepower to compensate for a short stretch without Rollins in the lineup. I’d expect Shane Victorino to be the new leadoff hitter, Carlos Ruiz to hit seventh and Juan Castro to hit eighth.

Don’t expect Castro to put up Rollins numbers. Eric Bruntlett took Rollins’ spot for the month in 2008, hitting .245 with a .304 OBP and .349 SLG. The Phillies would be more than happy if Castro provided that type of production. They need him to catch the ball. If he hits, it’s almost a bonus.


No word if Jayson Werth is in the lineup tonight, but he said he’s fine. He required no MRI.


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.

Rollins Gets MRI, Status TBD Wednesday

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Ruben Amaro Jr. issued a statement tonight regarding Jimmy Rollins‘ strained right calf:

“Jimmy had an MRI at 2:00 this afternoon. We are reviewing the results of the MRI and will decide on Jimmy’s status sometime tomorrow when we have the opportunity to meet as a group.”

I still think he ends up on the DL.

If that happens, they have a couple options to replace him. Brian Bocock is the only infielder on the 40-man roster, which currently sits at 39 players. He has played primarily shortstop in his career. Wilson Valdez is a strong possibility. He also has played shortstop the majority of his career. But Valdez is out of options, and the Phillies would risk losing him because they would have to designate him for assignment and he would have to clear waivers before they could return him to Triple A.

There are tradeoffs with the two. Bocock has hit .143 in 77 big-league at-bats and .228 in five seasons in the minors, but they can shuttle Bocock back and forth throughout the season. Valdez has hit .284 in 12 seasons in the minors and .222 in four seasons in the Majors, but they could lose him if they bring him up. If they think Rollins will miss just 15 days, maybe they go with Bocock because they hardly use their utility infielder anyway. (Castro had not played this season until Rollins got hurt.)

Cody Ransom has played a lot of shortstop, but I think he is considered more of an offensive player than a defensive player, and I think the Phillies would rather take a glove than a bat to take Juan Castro‘s spot on the bench.


Rollins did not address the media yesterday, but he issued a statement last night through Red Bull regarding the postponement of today’s attempt to set the Guiness World Record for longest batted ball on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway:

“I am deeply sorry for having to postpone tomorrow’s Ball Park Cranks due to the calf injury I sustained prior to today’s game. I am confident we will be able reschedule this amazing event and break some records.”


uwishunu posts Raul Ibanez‘s “with love” letter to Philly.


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.

Phillies Invite Seven Non-Roster Players to Spring Training

The Phillies announced today they have invited seven players to spring training as non-roster invitees:

  • Chris Duffy, OF. Duffy, 29, started last season with the Milwaukee Brewers, hitting .125 with three RBIs in 19 games. He finished the season with Triple-A Nashville. He has hit .262 with six home runs and 52 RBIs in 212 big-league games with Pittsburgh (2005-07) and Milwaukee (2009).
  • Paul Hoover, C. Hoover, 33, hit .253 with one home run and 28 RBIs in his 73 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He had three hits in four at-bats with the Phillies, including a walk-off single in the season finale against Florida.
  • Cody Ransom, INF. Ransom, 33, split last season with the New York Yankees and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He began the season as the Yankees’ Opening Day third baseman, filling in for Alex Rodriguez. Ransom hit .190 with 10 RBIs in 31 games. He has played with the San Francisco Giants (2001-04), Houston Astros (2007) and Yankees (2008-09).
  • Andy Tracy, INF. An International League postseason All-Star in 2009, Tracy, 36, spent the entire season with Lehigh Valley. He led the league in walks (74), finished second in home runs (26) and RBIs (96) and finished fourth in runs scored (76). Tracy also appeared in nine games with the Phillies, where he made one start and hit .500 (4-for-8) as a pinch-hitter.
  • DeWayne Wise, OF. Wise, 31, spent last season with the Chicago White Sox. He set career highs in games (84), at-bats (142) and doubles (eight). He hit .268 in 44 games after the All-Star break and was 4-for-9 as a pinch-hitter. Wise, who made a game-saving, over-the-wall catch in Mark Buehrle‘s perfect game in July, appeared in 35 games in center field (24 starts), 34 in left field (10 starts) and five in right field (two starts). He has played with the Toronto Blue Jays (2000, 2002), Atlanta Braves (2004), Cincinnati Reds (2006-07) and White Sox (2008-09).
  • Wilson Valdez, INF. Valdez, 32, split last season between the Cleveland Indians and New York Mets. He began the year with Triple-A Columbus, but was traded to the Mets on May 27 and outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo on June 25. Valdez combined to hit .247 with 12 RBIs in 77 games in the Minors. He hit .256 (22-86) with seven RBIs in 41 games with the Mets.
  • Bill White, LHP. White, 31, did not pitch last season. He last pitched for the Texas Rangers organization in 2008, when he combined to go 4-1 with six saves and a 3.48 ERA in 51 relief appearances between Triple-A Oklahoma and Single-A Bakersfield. He appeared in eight games for Texas in 2008.


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Four Players Agreed to Minor League Deals

The Phillies have agreed to terms on Minor League contracts with four players, according to a source. The players will have invitations to Spring Training:

  • Outfielder DeWayne Wise, who preserved Mark Buehrle‘s perfect game in July with a leaping catch at the wall in the ninth inning at U.S. Cellular Field, hit .225 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 142 at-bats last season for the Chicago White Sox. He is a .216 career hitter in seven seasons in the Majors.
  • Infielder Wilson Valdez hit .256 with seven RBIs in 86 at-bats for the New York Mets. He is a career .222 in four seasons in the Majors.
  • Infielder Andy Tracy hit .417 in 12 at-bats for the Phillies.
  • Catcher Paul Hoover had three hits in four at-bats in three games for the Phillies.


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