We give a big thanks to Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News for spelling all the injury updates out for us in an easy-to-read format, but let’s dig deeper.
-Shane Victorino is scheduled to rejoin the team in Chicago today. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and scored a run yesterday with Double-A Reading. All seems fine with him, he should be in the lineup within the next day or so. This is great news, but let’s hope there are no lingering issues from that thumb injury. It can often times sap some power (although, I’d rather see Vic chill with trying to hit too many long balls). Either way, the Phillies best offensive player this season is close.
-Placido Polanco has reportedly shown improvement and will workout with the Phillies in Chicago. Asisstant GM Scott Proefrock said no decision has been made whether Polanco will go on a rehab assignment. He’s eligible to come off the disabled list on Wednesday. Polanco worries me.
He has really taken a dive, although he has shown when healthy, that he’s one of the top hitters in the NL. Can he be trusted to stay healthy enough all year? The Phillies may try to shore up the infield with another bat. Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez cannot be counted on for full-time roles if Polanco was to go down. Polly may come back in the next week, but will he truly be the guy we saw in April?
-Brad Lidge pitched back-to-back for the first time yesterday for Reading, working a scoreless seventh. He allowed two hits and struck out two. More excellent news for the Phillies as they’ll get a 7th inning guy back into the rotation of the back-end of the bullpen. They need all the help they can get out there, although Antonio Bastardo has held down the fort beautifully. I think Lidge has something left in the tank.
-Roy Oswalt was examined Saturday and is scheduled to throw bullpens Tuesday and Friday. The Phillies will know more about him after the two sessions – it could tell them a lot about the rest of Oswalt’s season. He’ll likely need a few rehab starts, so if all goes well this week, early August might be the next time you’ll see Oswalt on a mound in a game. Still, that’s a ways away.
-Jose Contreras will start a throwing program tomorrow in Chicago. By all accounts, he’s nowhere near ready to return and there is a slight chance we may not see him at all (my hunch). This is where the need for bullpen help comes into play. Guess we’ll be getting a Lidge-for-Contreras trade in the coming days, but don’t expect to see Big Truck anytime soon.
-Joe Blanton had “a little hiccup” Saturday and did not throw a scheduled bullpen. He may be coming back to Philadelphia to see team doctor Michael Ciccotti. Through Hagen, Proefrock says there’s a chance we won’t see Blanton for the rest of this season. If so, it’s 110% Blanton’s fault. He told the team he was fine, they believed him, and he could have cost the Phillies lots of time and money by doing so. He tried to pitch through elbow pain (always a no-no) and now his season might be coming to a close before it even started. A bad contract gets worse.