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Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Another Qualls appearance. I'M FIRED UP!

No Utley again?

When is he going to get some ABs?

I'm going to need to manufacture some sentiment for most of these pitchers going out in Phils uniforms today.

epicurean, good idea. Otherwise, people won't think you're a "real baseball fan."

Right. Similarly, I only dislike Martinez because it ups my cred...errr, I mean, Mini-Mart.

***Another Qualls appearance. I'M FIRED UP!***

So are all the Astros hitters who are on the bubble to make the 25 man.

NEPP - "No Utley again?

When is he going to get some ABs?"

Its the first week of spring training. He doesn't need ABs for another week. Phils are wise to save whatever wear and tear they can on Utley/Polanco.

I'm excited to see Worley pitch.

I didn't know that the Nats had restricted ticket pre-sales to D.C., MD & VA residents.

I hope Utley sits until clout day at the earliest. Give his chair the early spring ABs.

Nice catch, Jimmy!

NEPP: Charlie said not for a while.

Harold Garcia out 4-6 months. Cross him off the utility depth chart. Diekman now can move up 1 space on Sickles list of players who will make it to the majors before he does.

***Its the first week of spring training. He doesn't need ABs for another week. Phils are wise to save whatever wear and tear they can on Utley/Polanco.***

Well, there are rumors going around that they are hiding an injury again...that's why I'm curious. Its a bit odd he hasnt at least DHed yet. Every other regular has seen the plate this spring.

i hope the mohawk is gone.

***Harold Garcia out 4-6 months***

Didnt he miss all last year with an injury too? Why the heck happened?

just had microfracture surgery. Where's the Utley injured rumor?

NEPP - He did. Man the Phils have little organizational depth around the entire infield.

Literally is Mini Mart/Frandsen/Orr/Galvis. Still just mystifies me why Amaro didn't really upgrade the utility infielder spot this year.

"relatively full lineup"

See. Not everyone would understand that, with Mini-Mart in the line-up, they only have 8.25 players out there.

NEPP- besides WIP where are you hearing that Utley is hurt?

If Utley/Polanco begin the season on the DL,
Frandsen and Mini-Mart are both shoo-ins to make the Opening Day roster.

Ace Ventura Effect.

iceman: Bleacher Reports crack team of 7th grade bloggers uncovered that rumor.

Unfortunately, this start is 100% in keeping with what always happens to Phillies hotshot rookie pitchers in Year 2. And it always seems to start with a godawful spring training(See, i.e., Kyle Kendrick 2008).

Not to re-open a burt out discussion, but the DH seems to fit with the Spring Training games. I like it fine in an exhibition setting like today.

Hate it in regular season , even more in post season. The games count then.

damn, there's the mohawk. i bet the ladies just love that. not.

***besides WIP where are you hearing that Utley is hurt? ***

A couple of people that live in the Philly area emailed me saying they had heard idea on the original source but I suspect WIP is the answer.

NEPP- I was honestly just wondering if you had heard it somewhere else. I came into work this morning and my buddy comes up and says "Doesn't sound good about Utley! He's hurt again." I asked him where he heard it and he says "I don't know, but they were talking about it on the radio," which means to me they were talking conspiracies on WIP.

I'd never believe a word that comes out of the mouth of anyone in the Phils organization regarding injuries but until I hear that he's visiting a doctor for a 'consult' or being held out of workouts for some reason, I'm not worried.

A final question for the virulently anti-DH crowd: Your position is that it is better for the game overall that Roy Halladay pretend to do two things (pitch and hit) while Jim Thome does none (sits on bench), instead of Halladay do one thing and Thome do one thing, each the thing they happen to be incredibly good at?

NEPP: If you haven't heard anything out of Cholly or Ruben, I wouldn't be too worried. The Phillies are always completely forthcoming when it comes to injuries.

See what happens when Schneider doesn't catch Worley?

Utley will never be 100% again though. His condition is degenerative. It really isn't something you cure. Just treat as needed and really dependent on how much pain he can tolerate when he really acts up.

I agree, Jack. We should have Designated Fielders too...and Designated runners. I mean, it makes no sense to watch guys like Prince Fielder try to field and run the bases. There should be a designated runner box next to the batters box where a guy like Tyson Gillies is crouched in a sprinters starting position and as soon as Prince hits one, Gillies can take off and Prince can admire his shot.

I mean, does it really make sense to have him pretend to do something he's bad at?

As far as fielding goes, it makes far more sense to reward all those no-hit, great glove OFs we have in the system rather than watch guys like Dom Brown and Raul Ibanez try to pretend to play LF. Its better for the game.

NEPP: One of my favorite things in life is watching Prince Fielder leg out a triple.

What I don't understand is why when reporters including Ryan Lawrence last posting indicate that Utley just had right knee tendinitis that somehow was just something he had to deal with last year.

It's chronic. It's not going to improve. Just something he can manage. Utley will never be 100% again. Just hope that he can avoid lengthy DL stints and that his production isn't as bad as it was the last 2 months of last year.

Going to mean that he needs to sit at least once a week which means Cholly actually needs to do that this year.

NEPP (in re: 1:53 post) - Suddenly Greg Golson has a career again.

misch, we hardly knew ye.

Misch is serving up the spicy meatballs. Getting behind constantly & leaving his meatball/fastball right over the plate. Looks bad even for early spring training.

"Asked if he expected Utley to be a go for opening day, Amaro said, “There’s no reason not to think he won’t.""

Well, nevermind. I was fine with it as long as Amaro's lips weren't moving. Now I'm forced to assume that's a lie and he'll start the year on the DL.

That was embarrassing for Frandsen.

Well, now that I'm reading it again, Amaro is quoted as using the rare triple negative, so who knows what he even meant.

MG: According to sites like WebMD and the Mayo Clinic, patellar tendinitis CAN be chronic but, more often, it is treatable. And I didn't see anything to suggest that it's degenerative. It's tendinitis, not arthritis. clout recovered ok from his bout with patellar tendinitis.

If Utley sits for another week and doesn't see any action, then yeah Amaro is fibbing. No reason to get that concerned at this point.

Misch can't even finish 2 IP against the bums in this Astros' lineup. He pretty much guaranteed that he doesn't make the first cut with his outing today.

BAP - Reports last year stated it was chronic with Utley though.

The Phils should hire MG as their medical staff. At least Bill Frist was as doctor.

Least impressive Phillie through the first 5 games of spring training: Kevin Frandsen, by a country mile.

"Unfortunately, cartilage damage is not reversible. It comes down to whether the condition can be effectively managed (i.e., whether he can play through it) or whether it is ultimately deemed that a surgical option is best for Utley in the long term.

For the joint condition, sometimes biologic treatments (like Synvisc, a joint lubricant) can be used to provide pain relief. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections have been used with limited success in some patients with mild arthritis. As far as the "tendon" aspect of the injury, PRP, which has been shown to have some positive effects in people with elbow or Achilles tendinitis, has not yielded great results for patellar tendinitis. Surgery to debride, or clean up, the patellar tendon can be helpful, but that would address only part of the problem in Utley's case."

"Utley is known for being a tough player who will give a 100 percent effort, even if it means absorbing physical punishment. At the age of 32, it appears as if that style of play is starting to catch up to him."

"Perhaps the best analogy for Utley's knee condition is that of a worn tire. You know that if you continue to drive on it, you may be able to get another 20,000 miles out of it, but if the tire blows, it won't come as a great surprise. And if you put the car in the garage and "rest" it, it doesn't improve the tire tread"

MG: I distinctly remember reports which SPECULATED it might be chronic. I don't remember any reports which declared it as fact. How could they have? The only way to find out if patellar tendinitis is chronic is to wait and see if it goes away.

I thought his hip issue was potentially degenerative too...even before the knee.

Bed Beard - "The Phils should hire MG as their medical staff. At least Bill Frist was as doctor."

It's idiocy in today's day and age though not to be better informed about medical information when it is freely and readily available especially more detailed information beyond basic sites like Mayo or WebMD.

You would also be horrified BB if you know how many times doctors use basic reference sites like UpToDate or basic pharmacology info to get more information on conditions they treat you for.

I have a degree from a good school in History and I have shelves of good reference books in my office as well as a massive online database of reference tools and regulations for my job.

That said, I oftentimes still use sites like Google and Wikipedia to look something up.

Crazy that, eh?

BAP - Your right the Phils never did confirm if it was 'chronic' or not but reports leaked that was it was of the chronic variety. From the same article:

"In medical circles in recent years, however, the term tendinosis has often been associated with chronic or recurrent episodes of anterior knee pain, particularly with overuse in athletes. The tendon actually starts to undergo structural changes where the tissue becomes thicker and more fibrotic.

Given the repetitive nature of Utley's occupation and the fact that he has dealt with this in past years, it is not unreasonable to think that this degenerative process may also be occurring. The tendon, unlike the muscle it anchors, does not have a good blood supply, so it becomes less structurally sound and less capable of performing its function. This in turn creates the potential for chronic pain and irritation in the area of the tendon. The tendon is under most load when controlling the knee as it bends, something that happens every time the foot hits the ground when running"

MG: Just as I said in my previous post, I see a lot of words like "may" and "potential" in that article. You can't diagnose tendinitis as chronic until you see if it becomes chronic.

Vic breaking up the no-no

NEPP - Take cancer. Even the most advanced US oncologist is not going to be aware of the latest and greatest treatment regimens potentially say in Europe or Japan because of the differences in what is approved there from a regulatory standpoint and potential differences in surgery.

My mother was diagnosed with a rare condition of lupus a few years ago and even my sister & I (she is a pharmacist) have struggled to gather resources on it.

Some of the better stuff I found was in Italian and in German. Even the specialist at Columbia didn't know about it and nutrition study that have been done. Lucky had an old contact from an early job who reads both and was able to pull at Harvard Med School library.

TMac says that Papelbon is fitting in very nicely in the clubhouse, which I think is a great thing to hear if it's true. I wasn't thrilled about how I perceive his character and whatnot.

Tendinitis/tendinosis is chronic in its nature because it usually comes from repetitive, overuse as opposed to acute being from one trauma. Chronic doesn't have to mean permanent, but patellar tendinitis is tough to get rid of since you're always going to be putting weight/stress on it

Well, part of the problem with making pronouncements on Utley's injury is that it is, to quote the article linked above "a complex issue with three contributing elements." Tendonitis by itself can be relatively easily managed, depending on the severity: I've known people who've done well with RICE and then strengthening the muscles around it.

Chrondomalacia sounds like a nasty piece of work. Thanks for the link: seems like a pretty good breakdown.

Dontrelle Willis walks the first batter he faces. Who would have ever guessed?

Its good that JC Romero found a way to stay on the roster under an assumed name like that, bap.

From Twitter:

"... RT @reclinergm: I have no problem being cautious, but I'd rather he rest him during regular season so he isn't horrible in Aug/Sep
magelb 2:56pm via TweetDeck

"Why won't Charlie rest Utley?" everyone asked for 3 years. Phillies rest Utley. "Where's Utley?" everyone asks."

Yeah, I agree with resting Utley, but you think he'd play a little first, then get some rest.

Our LOOGY can't retire Jonathan Singleton and gives up more runs

Singleton just took the Traded-Prospect's-Revenge on D-Train.

Astros are scoring runs w/o manufacturing a sweat.

d train is gonna be choo choo his way out of here. Low risk no reward. I can't watch him now. Let alone in the majors. I know they want to rest chase, but really he can't even get one ab to look at something different. I am a little alarmed with rube. He said he can get plenty of at bats in minor league. Is he referring to minor league games on back field. Or is the injury flared up again, and he will start season on DL. Anyway you put in chase's career will be up sooner then later. Be glad when his contract is up 15 mil for this aint gonna get it done.

I'd like to amend my 2:18 post which said that Frandsen has been the least impressive Phillie to date. After watching Dontrelle Willis get shellacked for the 2nd time this spring, that post should say "least impressive everyday player." Guys like Savery, Diekman and Horst have reason for hope.

hook: I hope that's a parody.

D-Train don't run on Broad St.

At least Dontrelle's contract isn't guaranteed. They gave him a no-risk flyer and its not working out so far.

No worries.

Willis is probably begging Charlie to give him an AB so he can prove to be useful somewhere.

Hell, give the guy a chance in the infield.

Sherrill was the guy the Phils should have targeted as their primary LHP. Case where the extra $500k would have been better spent than Willis.

I will give Amaro credit that it was a non-guaranteed contract and unlike past years where the only internal LHP reliever was Zagurski (simply not a MLB pitcher) the Phils have some potential viable candidates who might be able to contribute out of spring training.

Willis is going to have plenty of chances though in camp to make the Opening Day roster including several more outings.

Interesting thing is that his early struggles will likely increase the odds that Savery and Diekman both survive the first cut coming up next week.

really sorry to have seen singelton go..
rather have seen dombrown as part of that trade,,

Re: Utley's medical condition.

Tendinitis isn't the problem. With proper strengthening of the muscles adjoining the patellar tendon and a proper stretching regimen for those muscles, a pro athlete can play for many years with patellar tendinitis.

The problem is the Chrondomalacia. This is an irreversable condition. It is an erosion of the cartilege behind the kneecap. There are things that can lessen the inflamation caused by this erosion, not unlike the exercises and stretching used to combat patellar tendinitis. But without regular rest periods, the inflammation will return because of the lack of cartilege. Sometimes the erosion can leave a rough patch, which can increase the inflammation. This can be smoothed by arthroscopic surgery.

Bottom line: Utley will never be the player he was before. But he can still be a very good player and possibly manage his ailment by reducing his workload to 130 games a year.

This was all discussed last spring at this time and isn't really new.

Unless Willis fails to get a single batter out between now and opening day, I predict he will make the roster no matter how many days like today he has in ST. Two reasons: He's a big-league veteran and Rollins' best buddy; Cholly will value "experience" and "clubhouse atmosphere" over actual talent. I'd love to be proven wrong, though.

Tyson Gilles PH for Jim Thome.
Gotta love spring training.

MG: Are you suggesting that Jake "Can't Miss" Diekman might get cut?

I will say this though - getting lite up by this horrendous Astros' lineup without Lee is pretty weak. It is as bad a lineup as you will ever see even early in spring training. Pretty much ensures Misch doesn't make the first cut & that it is a real strike against Willis.

One of the writers at Minor League Ball (Prospect Maven John Sickles' site, Sickles didn't wrote the article though)theorized that Laynce Nix was the most likely guy to have a Mike Morse-esqu breakout this year. fwiw

"At least Dontrelle's contract isn't guaranteed. They gave him a no-risk flyer and its not working out so far.

No worries."

Disagree. Obviously its nice they can part ways without paying him, but the worry is that you spent your offseason bringing in garbage instead of better options since your MLB team has only 1 LHP reliever, who you already need as a setup man and not for situational appearences.

Another Luna landing; too bad he can't play SS.

***Obviously its nice they can part ways without paying him, but the worry is that you spent your offseason bringing in garbage instead of better options since your MLB team has only 1 LHP reliever, who you already need as a setup man and not for situational appearences.***

I guess its a good thing there are only a dozen other potential bullpen arms in camp for that final spot.

Paying big money for fringe bullpen roles rarely works out.

Who had March 7th as the first time MG pined for George Sherrill? You win the pool.

Next up- the "Wish we would have signed Zach Duke" pool.

lorecore - But who besides Sherrill was really better than Willis? Romero got a $750k guaranteed deal from the Cards. Mijares got $925k from the Royals.

Mariners rolled the dice on Kuo at $500k but he still isn't ready to go. Hill, T. Miller, Slaten, and Grabow all got minor league deals. Marte wasn't signed. Ditto Rhodes.

It was a garbage market this year for LHP relievers. Amaro made a sensible gamble with Willis. Frankly thought it was one of his better offseason moves. Low risk, moderate reward potential.

No mention of Qualls lowering his ERA to 13.50 today?

You negative nancies.

Iceman - Better not to spend that extra $400k on signing Sherrill than say Willis instead of bringing back the corpse that is Brian Schneider at $800k?

Kratz has looked solid camp so far. Ditto Tuffy. Find it hard to believe that the Phils couldn't get the same level of defense and better offensive out of either & pocked the additional $400k to spend elsewhere.

I was buzzing on the signing but I'm afraid I'm making an early exit off the D-Train. He's looked awful for years and so far this spring is no exception. The control, velocity, and confidence is non-existent. If I knew that Charlie would use him strictly against lefties, I'd be fine but we all know that's not the case. It's a nice idea bringing in a former phenom trying to reinvent himself but it's a more important to know when the tank is empty.

Still ridin' the D-Train.

When you view the significant lapse in control, consideration of him as a LOOGY is even more worrisome (as you'll be reliant on a higher leverage spot against a batter or two that you DO NOT want to walk). Perhaps he should be setting his sights on "mop up guy" (elsewhere)?

At any rate, I hope Jimmy doesn't take it personally when we have to pass on the D-Train.

FWIW, Willis is saying he's feeling some fatigue/soreness in his throwing arm and may need to back off for a few days.

He also has said his pride is feeling some fatigue/soreness as well.

I want to see Jake the snake rather then the d train. Jake has been getting great reviews. Let's get the slop out of here so we can start seeing the good battles for spots. Please I hope they don't keep Juan and let Scott go. 4 hits and three walks. I know it's early but he's got the approach that the team needs.

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