Polanco In, Rollins Out: Revolving Door of Phillies Injuries Continues

23 Aug

Let’s start with the good news.

Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco was activated off the disabled list (DL) yesterday and was in the Phillies starting line-up last night for the first time since August 6. Polanco looked like he was making up for lost time with 2 singles, a walk, a run scored and several slick plays at third as the Phillies went on to beat the Mets 10-0.

So can Phillies fans heave a sigh of relief now that Polanco is back manning the hot corner?  Not so fast. You haven’t heard the bad news yet.

Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins was placed on the 15-day disabled list following an injury he sustained in Sunday’s game against the Nationals.  He left the game early with what was called a right groin strain and was declared “day to day” at the time.  Unfortunately an MRI taken Monday revealed a bit more.  He tweeted the results first to his followers on Twitter:

“Soooo this is what we got…mild grade 2 strain.  DL.  Gone till September.”

Gone but not forgotten!  Instead of having the left side of their infield intact for the stretch run, the Phillies must now deal with yet another injury to a key player.  How much will this parade of players to the DL impact the chances of having that other parade Phillies fans are hoping for?

That depends… on Rollins and Polanco, of course.  Specifically, when will Rollins return?  And how healthy is Polanco?

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Rollins is eligible to return from the DL on September 6 but most estimate his recovery will take more like three weeks which would have him back on September 12.  That leaves him with about two weeks to get his stroke back before the play-offs begin.  The time off might even help Rollins who tends to wear down at the end of a long season. But can the Phillies make it to the post season without their charismatic shortstop, often considered the team’s spark plug?

It seems likely that they can as long as their starting pitchers remain healthy and the rest of their line-up continues its recent strong offensive output.  With Polanco back and the capable team of Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez filling in for Rollins, as they did for Polanco, the Phillies should be able to hold their own in the division although their lead over the Braves has decreased to 6.5 games in the past couple of days.

Which brings us to Polanco.  Having a healthy Polanco back in the line-up is a huge asset for the Phillies down the stretch.  And a timely one given Rollins injury.   But how healthy is he?  Polanco has actually been hampered by injuries all year.  After a terrific April he went on the DL with lower back pain and was never quite the same when he returned.  Then came the sports hernia which he had been battling for a good month before he went on the DL and his offensive performance was definitely affected.

Hoping to avoid season-ending surgery, Polanco received an anti-inflammatory injection which helped much more than he expected.  He estimated that he is now at about 80 to 90 percent and ready to go.  The next step is to see how the injury reacts to the physical rigors of hitting and playing third base. Last night was a good start for Polanco as he said after the game, “I didn’t feel anything.  So I’m pretty optimistic now.”

One in, one out and that’s not to mention that Raul Ibanez is also out with soreness in his left groin.  Man, that’s a lot of groin talk first thing in the morning.  Of course, no one can argue with the job John Mayberry Jr. has done when filling in including his 2-run home run and 3 RBI last night.

And so it goes.  Injuries are a part of the game in a long baseball season and the Phillies have had more than their share.  At least 5 of the Phillies 8 starters have spent time on the DL, 6 if you count Domonic Brown who was supposed to be the starting right fielder when the season began.  And of course the bullpen has been decimated by injuries.  Even the starting staff has been affected with injuries to Oswalt and Blanton and Hamels just missed a start.

But it’s the team that can weather the storm, the slumps, the injuries, the rain delays, those nasty groin strains (sorry), and all the ups and downs of a long baseball season, that’s the team that has what it takes to win it all.

Are the Phillies that team?  Here’s hoping.

But it would sure help if that damn revolving door would stop spinning!

 

 

 

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6 Responses to “Polanco In, Rollins Out: Revolving Door of Phillies Injuries Continues”

  1. Chuck Forer August 24, 2011 at 1:53 am #

    I don’t hear too many folks clamoring for Blanton’s return. What about Ibanez? Aren’t we better off with Mayberry playing full time in LF?

    • girlsbestphriend August 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

      Hi Chuck,
      I agree about Blanton. i was just making the point of how many players we have lost to injury. As for Ibanez I really like and respect the guy but it’s hard to keep Mayberry out of the line-up these days!

  2. Chuck Forer August 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    You write a great blog. I read it all the time. Looking forward to continuing to read it through the end of October. . . .

    Wasn’t that a great double play that Valdez started on Monday night?

    • girlsbestphriend August 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

      Hi Chuck,
      Thanks so much. I’m so glad you enjoy the blog. I know it’s not always hard core stats and stuff but I figure you can get that anywhere. By the way, I LOVE your comments. Please keep ’em coming.

      Be careful out there today.

  3. Chuck Forer August 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    So here’s the real question: why have the Phils so captured the fancy and love of folks? Because they won the World Series? Because of the new ballpark? Because of the personalities of the players? Because of great marketing and branding by the team?

    I have lived in Philly for thirty-five years, and I do not recall any time when everyone — at least it seems like everyone — knows who the Phils are playing, how they did yesterday, and who is playing well and not so well.

    • girlsbestphriend August 31, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

      That’ a good question. I, like you, have been a fan forever and remember the days when you weren’t even allowed to talk baseball on WIP because no one was interested. They’ve come a long way, baby!

      As to your reasons, I think it’s all of the above but that winning thing is probably the biggest draw. Everybody loves a winner, right?

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