Phillies Suffering from Injury Plague Again
Spring training started off with a whimper when we learned that Cole Hamels suffered from shoulder tendinitis over the off-season and was likely to miss his first start or two in the regular season. It was made worse when Hamels experienced a setback, making it likely he’d miss all of April. Of the Phillies expected to suffer from injuries during the season, Hamels was one of the few with youth and a clean bill of health on his side.
The old guys have stayed relatively healthy, shockingly. It’s the young guys suffering from the injury bug. Jonathan Pettibone, expected to compete for the #5 spot in the rotation as a result of Hamels’ absence, experienced inflammation in his right shoulder again. This left the door wide open for David Buchanan, Jeff Manship, Sean O’Sullivan, and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to compete for the final spot, as if Phillies fans needed another reason to get excited.
Ethan Martin was to start the year in the bullpen but also serve as an emergency starter, but he succumbed to a strained right shoulder capsule at the beginning of March. As a result, the Phillies shut him down for several weeks, which effectively forces him to restart his spring from the beginning.
Recently, it’s gotten worse. Darin Ruf suffered a strained left oblique taking a swing during batting practice on Thursday. Oblique injuries aren’t something players typically play through. As Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News points out, Chase Utley missed a month’s worth of games last season when he suffered the same injury. It should be shocking if Ruf didn’t spend at least the first two weeks of the regular season on the shelf.
But wait, there’s more. Infielder Freddy Galvis, the favorite son of manager Ryne Sandberg, had an abscess removed from his knee earlier this week. Unfortunately, he has been hospitalized with a staph infection and the Phillies are worried about there being even worse news to come, such as MRSA.
So here’s what all of that means: potentially three non-roster invitees, maybe even four, could head north on the 25-man roster. They are: outfielders Bobby Abreu and Tony Gwynn, Jr.; infielders Reid Brignac or Ronny Cedeno; and starters David Buchanan or Jeff Manship. There is a silver lining, though — that first round draft pick in 2015 is going to look awful nice.
Stats since the start of 2011:
Buchanan doesn’t have any Major League data, of course, but here’s Manship by his lonesome since coming into the league in 2009: