Phillies Injuries Proving Costly

Last year, I posted updates about the many injured Phillies, tallying up exactly how much money the Phillies were spending on shelved players. Unfortunately, the injury bug followed the Phillies into 2011, demanding yet more updates. The following is a summary of the team’s injuries so far, accurate as of yesterday’s game.

Player Injury DL Date Absent 2011 Salary Salary/G Injury Cost
Chase

Utley

Patellar tendinitis

R Knee

3/22 27 $15,000,000 $92,593 $2,500,000
Brad

Lidge

Rotator Cuff Strain

R Shoulder

3/25 27 $11,500,000 $70,988 $1,916,667
Joe

Blanton

Medial Impingement

R Elbow

4/24 7 $8,500,000 $52,469 $367,284
Jose

Contreras

Strained R Flexor

Pronator Tendon

4/22 9 $2,500,000 $15,432 $138,889
J.C.

Romero

Strained R Calf 4/19 12 $1,350,000 $8,333 $100,000
Domonic

Brown

Broken Hamate Bone

R Hand

3/22 27 $414,500 $2,559 $69,083
Carlos

Ruiz

Back Stiffness N/A 3 $2,750,000 $16,975 $50,926

Injuries have cost the Phillies over $5.1 million through 27 games, spanning 109 disabled list days (the remaining three include Ruiz, who has missed time but did not land on the DL). The injuries to Utley and Lidge represent approximately 87 percent of the team’s injury cost, a combination of their not having played a game in 2011 and their $15M and $11.5M salaries, respectively.

As for the return of some of these injured players, Matt Gelb has the latest. To summarize:

  • Chase Utley could be in Florida by the end of the week to begin his rehab.
  • Domonic Brown was optioned to Lehigh Valley. He had been hitting .400 with two home runs in 15 at-bats for Clearwater.
  • Joe Blanton will throw off of flat ground on Tuesday.
  • Carlos Ruiz could be ready by Tuesday.
  • J.C. Romero could return to the Phillies by Wednesday.

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18 comments

  1. Joe

    May 02, 2011 07:17 AM

    Aren’t player salaries insured against injury?

  2. John

    May 02, 2011 10:26 AM

    I am concerned about Ruiz’s back. I think if he was indeed 40 some hours from resuming starting duties, then he pinch hits in the 14th last night.

    John

  3. Evan

    May 02, 2011 11:04 AM

    I’m pretty sure the Phillies actually gained value by using better relievers in place of Lidge.

  4. Gio

    May 02, 2011 11:39 AM

    Would love to learn more about Contreras. He, more than Lidge in my mind, is the key domino effect on our relief staff

  5. Evan

    May 02, 2011 11:58 AM

    At least Herndon, Baez, and Kendrick aren’t often coming up in tight situations like Lidge was. Did anyone else see Kendrick get 3 swinging strikes last night? Holy eff that must make it 4 for the year.

  6. MplsPhilsFan

    May 02, 2011 01:44 PM

    Speaking of injuries, anyone heard what happened with Ross Gload and why he was unavailable to play last night?

    My guess is still that the Phillies will have everyone currently injured (Brown, Contreras, Lidge, Utley) back by the middle of June. The team we see the second half of the year will be far superior to the one that is out there now (not that the current one is doing so poorly)

  7. Scott G

    May 02, 2011 02:44 PM

    I think Gload was away from the team due to a loss in his family.

    @Evan,

    Well, right, but they are still on the team. It’s not Lidge’s fault Manuel uses him in more high leverage situations than he should be used in. I was looking at the bigger picture that a bullpen + Lidge and minus one of KK,DB, or DH would be better than the current bullpen.

  8. Moose

    May 02, 2011 02:48 PM

    Bill,

    Over at MLBTR, Tim Dierkes listed all the players he thought were aces and those he had as borderline. He listed Cole under aces. People in the comments then went the obvious route of saying Cole isn’t an ace. I know you’ve down this before, but can you put up an article showing that he is in fact an ace? That way they can link to you when they do their weekly “from the blogoshphere” linkage and people can read how wrong they are. Thanks

  9. Chris

    May 02, 2011 02:54 PM

    For what it’s worth, no sports team goes through an entire season without injuries. They calculate knowing money being paid to players will end up being paid to several who are on the DL or need a few days to heal from something minor.

    Every company knows this. Hence, why there is health insurance for the employee (player) and insurance for the corporation. While the numbers are staggering from the average person’s perspective, I’m betting this is not all that unusual for large companies or sports teams.

  10. John K

    May 02, 2011 07:23 PM

    You did these last year and it’s an interesting way to look at the injuries, since impact players will typically be given more weight. However, given the f’ed up cba, wouldn’t it be better to look at last year’s WAR or something? I mean, it’s not obvious to me that an injury to ibanez right now would be as costly as your method would indicate.

    Separately, as others have mentioned, I have no context for this. Where do these “injury dollars” fall in the spectrum for all mlb teams?

  11. Nick M.

    May 02, 2011 09:44 PM

    Moose – I think a main problem with labeling a player as an ace is that there is no set definition of what an ace is – it is a very arbitrary label. It depends on the person defining it. I’m sure we can prove Hamels is a good pitcher but can we prove he is an “ace”? Depends on who is defining ace.

  12. Victor

    May 03, 2011 12:23 PM

    Not all MLB contracts are insured against injury; it’s up to each team on a player by player basis. And I don’t think the insurance covers routine trips to the 15 day DL.

  13. Joe Redden

    May 04, 2011 02:26 PM

    Bill,

    You seem to be a keen mind on Phils baseball, just wanted to run this by you to see if I’m insane. When Romero and Contreras are ready to come back, wouldn’t it make sense to keep Orr and Martinez, and let Herndon and Kendrick head to AAA? While were at it, when Utley returns, wouldn’t it make sense to send Orr to AAA since we get to keep him regardless of where he is, unlike Martinez, who the Nationals will most certainly grab up?

  14. Bill Baer

    May 04, 2011 03:34 PM

    Joe,

    They activated Romero and sent down Herndon, so there’s something at least.

    I agree with what you wrote about Utley. When he comes back, Orr is pushed aside while Martinez stays on the roster because of his Rule 5 status, similar to how the Phillies handled Herndon last year.

    When Contreras comes back, I imagine Stutes is the one getting sent down much to my (and many others’) chagrin. However, like it or not, Kendrick does have a somewhat useful skill in that he has the ability to pitch multiple innings, something that none of the others don’t have. So I can’t complain about that too much.

  15. hk

    May 04, 2011 05:22 PM

    Why would the Nats “certainly” take Martinez back? For that matter, why did the Phillies keep him on the Opening Day roster in the first place? He is 28 years old with a career MiLB triple slash of .263 / .316 / .368 in nearly 2,200 PA’s. I get whey the Phils went out of their way to keep Herndon, a then 24 year old pitcher, for the whole 2010 season, but I don’t get their infatuation with Martinez. What am I missing?

  16. Joe Redden

    May 04, 2011 06:17 PM

    Hk,

    The main reason for the Phillies keeping him was the praise from all the Phils regulars. They said he was an extremely hard worker. The upside on him is the speed and the fielding ability. The reasons the Nationals would take him back are the above stated, and more importantly because he’s a very cheap utility player. While he may not be at the level we need, he definitely could get some significant playing time with a second tier team like them. And finally, because we want to keep him they would certainly take him off our hands.

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