Aaron Gleeman

Baseball Daily Dose

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Phillies Lose Half An Infield

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Half of the Phillies' infield hit the disabled list Tuesday, as Chase Utley was placed on the shelf with the sprained thumb he suffered Monday and Placido Polanco was shut down after unsuccessfully trying to play through elbow pain. Polanco's elbow failed to respond to multiple cortisone injections and anti-inflammatory medication, and the third baseman admitted that he may need offseason surgery to remove a bone spur.

For now Utley's status is less clear, with surgery potentially being an option depending on how his trip to see a hand specialist goes Wednesday. Even while posting an OPS under .900 for the first time in five years Utley was still on pace for 25 homers, 85 RBIs, 110 runs, and a dozen steals, so his going under the knife would be a massive blow to both the Phillies and his fantasy owners.

Losing both guys is particularly tough because the Phillies can't shift Polanco to second base as Utley's replacement and will instead try to get some kind of production out of Greg Dobbs, Wilson Valdez, Juan Castro, and Brian Bocock, which is a group of names you might see available on the waiver wire in the world's deepest fantasy league. You can almost certainly do better than anyone from that foursome even if the Phillies can't.

While the Phillies try to keep pace in the NL East with two replacement-level players in the lineup, here are some other notes from around baseball ...

* Demoted to the minors last month after becoming the odd man out in the Rockies' outfield, Dexter Fowler hit .340/.435/.566 with 16 extra-base hits and 17 walks in 27 games at Triple-A and was called back up Tuesday. Fowler started in center field and led off, but it's unclear how much playing time he'll actually be in line for once Brad Hawpe returns from a rib injury. In the meantime he's certainly worth a claim in NL-only leagues.

* Joel Zumaya will miss the rest of the season following his gruesome-looking arm injury Monday, but is optimistic about pitching at some point next year after being diagnosed with a fractured elbow. Anyone who saw Zumaya quivering in pain knows the injury is a serious one, but the good news is that he avoided ligament damage and may not need surgery. He's battled back from serious injuries before, so hopefully he can do it again.

* Tampa Bay designated Hank Blalock for assignment Tuesday after he batted just .254/.319/.349 with one homer in 26 games, likely opening the door for Matt Joyce to stick around in a semi-starting role platooning with Gabe Kapler. Joyce has 25-homer pop to make up for what will likely be mediocre batting averages and should definitely be picked up by any fantasy team that was still carrying Blalock on the roster.

AL Quick Hits: Carl Crawford (shoulder) rejoined the lineup Tuesday with four hits and a steal ... Dallas Braden was scratched from Tuesday's start with elbow soreness, so Vin Mazzaro tossed six innings of one-run ball in his place ... Juan Samuel said Tuesday that Mike Gonzalez won't be handed the closer job once he returns from the disabled list ... Cliff Lee hurled his third straight complete game Tuesday, beating the Yankees despite two Nick Swisher homers ... B.J. Upton was a healthy scratch Tuesday, but Joe Maddon downplayed the notion that he was being "benched" for the dugout incident with Evan Longoria ... Travis Snider (wrist) is set to begin a rehab assignment Wednesday at rookie-ball ... Denard Span tied the modern record with three triples Tuesday and did so within the first five innings ... Dayan Viciedo started Tuesday for just the third time in 11 games since his call-up ... Jason Donald hasn't played since jamming his wrist last week and will be examined by a specialist Wednesday ... J.J. Hardy (wrist) will begin a rehab assignment Wednesday at Single-A.

NL Quick Hits: Edwin Rodriguez will reportedly remain the Marlins' manager after the team opted against hiring Bobby Valentine ... Felipe Lopez will take over as the Cardinals' starting third baseman with David Freese (ankle) landing on the shelf Tuesday ... Matt Kemp was a healthy scratch Tuesday for the third straight game ... Jenrry Mejia has been placed on the Triple-A disabled list with a strained shoulder ... Edwin Jackson's next start has been pushed back two days following his 149-pitch no-hitter, so Barry Enright will come up from Double-A to start Wednesday ... Impending free agent Adam Dunn is reportedly being targeted by the White Sox, with the Nationals apparently not interested in working out an extension ... Arthur Rhodes' scoreless streak came to an end Tuesday at 30 innings ... Todd Helton remained out of the lineup Tuesday because of back spasms ... General manager Walt Jocketty said Aroldis Chapman's transition to the bullpen at Triple-A has gone "excellent" thus far ... Oliver Perez (knee) is slated to begin a rehab assignment Wednesday at Single-A.


Aaron Gleeman is Rotoworld's senior baseball editor and contributes to NBCSports.com's Hardball Talk blog. Also find him at AaronGleeman.com and on Twitter.
Email :Aaron Gleeman



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