The Phillies, stunningly, opted to bring up Michael Martinez to replace Utley. The switch-hitting Martinez is carrying a .226/.297/.274 line through 118 plate appearances with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. As the following flow chart will show you, the decision doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
In macho sports culture, it is considered an attribute if you’re willing to play through an injury, even one that debilitates you enough to hamper your performance. If a player sits out a game with an illness or light soreness, he is lambasted on sports talk radio for being wimpy and effeminate. Teammates, themselves ascribed to macho sports culture, grow weary of players who take games off with minor ailments and wear their own injuries as badges of honor.
What players, and the culture at large, never seem to learn — after reaggravating an injury, making a current injury worse, or creating a new injury due to overcompensation — is that it never pays to play through pain. Kirk Gibson moments are incredibly rare and never worth the otherwise poor performance caused by the injury.
Chase Utley, though, is smart. You have probably gathered this with the precision with which he steals bases, the way he positions himself at second base to have more opportunities to make plays, and his prowess at the plate. It has been unfortunate that we haven’t been able to see him play as much over the last four years due to his knee problems (patellar tendinitis and chondromalacia). Now 34 years old, the potential Hall of Famer will likely miss some more time, now with a midsection injury. Via Matt Gelb: