The momentum the Phillies had hoped to carry over from a solid run in interleague play has come to a screeching halt as Chase Utley and Placido Polanco, the Phillies’ 2-3 hitters, will go on the disabled list, as feared. Utley's injury appears to be a sprain, according to CSNPhilly's Jim Salisbury. The nightmare grows with the announcement of the Phillies’ replacement plans: third baseman Greg Dobbs, who was demoted last week after hitting .152, and Triple-A infielder Brian Bocock, who was hitting .179 at Lehigh Valley. Wilson Valdez and Juan Castro figure to share most of the starts at second and third. May god have mercy on our souls. [Link]
Beerleaguer: Even if the remaining players – Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth -- hit as they’ve hit lately, that still isn't enough to overcome the loss of Polanco and Utley. The main issue is that Castro and Valdez are forced to become regulars indefinitely. It's going to kill them, but there's really no another choice. Someone like Cody Ransom, who can't field and has a .311 OBP, wouldn't be worth killing a 40-man roster spot. Dobbs is a known quantity and Bocock was already on the 40 man. That’s important since the Phillies are probably looking to acquire proper help. I trust they’ll come up with something better shortly; several infielders have shaken loose recently and would be an improvement over the current plan.
The bottom line is the the Phillies have no play here. They're dealing with seven players on the disabled list. They can only hope that they get hot as a group just as they went cold as a group. Be that as it may, expect the Phillies to fall off the pace until they’re back on their feet.
Diagnosis: Utley has a
sprained ulnar collateral ligament of the right thumb. Polanco has left
elbow inflammation. (via Leslie Gudel)