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Cole Hamels has shoulder inflammation, will miss a start

Aug 16, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels delivers a pitch to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of their National League MLB baseball game in Philadelphia

To my thinking, the only thing that can stop the juggernaut that is the Philadelphia Phillies are injuries.  And on that score there is some not-awful-but-not-good news coming out of the Phillies clubhouse this afternoon:

Cole Hamels, who has been suffering from dead arm, had a “precautionary” MRI yesterday, and the results, according to Matt Gleb, are that he has inflammation in his shoulder.  He’ll be skipped once in the rotation and then reassessed. Given that he’s not going to play for a bit, I guess that makes Ryan Howard the sixth best player on the Phillies.

Meanwhile, Placido Polanco, who hasn’t played in ten days, is still out of the lineup, suffering from a sports hernia. The news on him is a bit more troubling.  If he needs surgery, Ruben Amaro says, he’s gone for the year.  Surgery or not, at some point, the Phillies have to consider disabling him because even a team that strong can’t go with a 24-man roster forever.

Of course, given their eight and a half game cushion in the division and their 11-game cushion for a playoff spot, they can afford to fart around with that kind of thing longer than most.

  1. FC - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    I guess that makes Ryan Howard the sixth best player on the Phillies.

    LOL! See, this is why you’re the best Craig.

  2. SmackSaw - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    Non story. I’d say please move along, but because it’s the Phightens, this thread will get 68 comments.

    • FC - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:42 PM

      That’s because Phillies threads resemble a chat-room more than blog post.

      • The Baseball Gods - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:49 PM

        They love the Phillies fans on this site….especially Craig. That’s why they always have posts about the Phillies. I’m sure they aren’t complaining about their posts being read and discussed.

    • The Baseball Gods - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      It’s a little bit more than a non-story when one of the best pitchers in baseball has an MRI on his pitching shoulder.

      • SmackSaw - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:20 PM

        Not when they have a “eight and a half game cushion in the division and their 11-game cushion for a playoff spot,”

        They can rest him as long as they have to and not be threatened.

        Non story.

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:21 PM

        It’s such a nonstory that you continue to read it and comment on it. What’s that say about you?

      • The Baseball Gods - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:38 PM

        It’s a shoulder injury….the fact that they have an 8.5 game cushion is irrelevant. Some shoulder injuries cause pitchers to be out for long periods of time. It might be a non-story for you, but the majority of people who read and post on this site (Phillies fans) care a lot about the status of the guy who was the MVP of the World Series in 2008.

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    They need to make a roster move. They were already going with a 6 man bullpen. Assuming Kendrick slots into Hamels spot in the rotation, they would be down to 5. The obvious move would be to DL Polanco and call up a pitcher.

    • FC - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:59 PM

      If Polanco is out for the year, will Ruben attempt to pursue a 3B replacement through waivers? Or will he trust Martinez and Valdez to hold the fort? Mind you the Phillies have only been with a healthy productive Polanco during April, so there’s an argument to be made that the Phillies have been OK without Polanco.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:13 PM

        That is a good question. My gut feeling is that they stand pat at 3rd and role with Martinez. Martinez is a really good defensive 3B although he can’t hit. Also, here is the thing it is not like there have been a ton of 3B producing this year so my guess is that waiver wire pickings would be slim.

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:20 PM

        I say NinJr. should just go with Martinez—any offensive pop he can muster would be gravy. But he’s NinJr. Who knows what he’ll do?

      • FC - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:20 PM

        Martinez is a really good defensive 3B although he can’t hit

        His big weakness: he only hits HR with two men on base! Drat!

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:22 PM

        When he hit his first HR…in the Met game, I’ve never seen a player look more shocked that he hit an HR.

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:55 PM

        Nitpicking time here: does “for the year” mean playoffs, too? How long does it take to come back from sports hernia surgery?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:04 PM

        I took “for the year” to mean playoffs too. I think like 6 weeks is the recovery time.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:09 PM

        OK, I just read that they are going to put Polanco on the DL. However, he is not going to have surgery. They believe that he will be ready to go when he comes off in 5 days. We will see about that. No word on who they are going to call up. Like I said, I would assume that it would be a pitcher…probably Mathieson but who knows. Also, Hamels is going to throw a bullpen on Thursday so hopefully that goes well.

      • firedude7160 - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:12 PM

        Martinez is great defensively, but his throws to first worry me some times. His throws are so strong and quick, just not always on target. He has gotten much better lately, but I still cringe a little when he has to make a quick throw. That said, I wouldn’t be opposed to sticking with him at 3rd. He may not be a great (or even average) hitter, but I think regular AB’s will help a little. And his defense makes up for the lack of hitting

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:18 PM

        Yeah, they worry me a tad too. He also does that weird thing where he runs half way across the diamond before he throws. I think you are right about the regular at bats though. Last time he got consistent at bats, his offensive became passable.

      • firedude7160 - Aug 16, 2011 at 7:25 PM

        I’m glad someone else notices that. With his arm strength he should be able to get the ball over without the running start. You also tend to be more accurate when you plant your feet and throw

  4. mikedi33 - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Edwin Encarnacion is supposedly available since they just called up Brett Lawrie.

    • FC - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:44 PM

      Ehhh…. the Jays fans in these threads don’t call Edwin E5 for nothing, and he’s been hitting better as a full time DH which makes me wonder if taking the field is affecting his batting performance.

  5. spudchukar - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    If Polanco goes down for the year, you can bet the Phillies will make a move for a right-hand hitting 3B. They are all in for this year and will not go into the play-offs hamstrung at the hot corner. Most of the available 3B are in the NL, so the likelihood of blocking the Phils is less. Blake, Wiggington, Uribe and Cairo might be pried away, and their teams aren’t contending.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:02 PM

      I could see Blake. I’m not sure if he still is, but he was a pretty good defensive 3B. I don’t think RAJ sacrifices defense in this situation.

      • spudchukar - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:25 PM

        Not sure about Uribe’s defense at 3B, but the other 3 are at least adequate defenders. Most likely you are only talking about 5 inning guys anyway. But the Giants may grab one of the guys first, not only as a blocking stategy, but out of real need. And Arizona might be interested also.

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    Hamels should rest as long as necessary to be ready for October. Same with polanco. If neither played a game for a month, the team will still be fine and they will be well rested for the playoffs.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:37 PM

      That won’t help Polanco. He needs to have this surgery. With him it is a matter of whether he can play effectively through the pain. I was just reading that the Dr. says to not DL him, throw him out there and see if he can tolerate it. So, that all remains to be seen. I don’t think the Hamels situation is a problem whatsoever. From what I read, he had a dye injected into the shoulder for his MRI that prohibits him from throwing for a couple days. Hence, his start would of had to be pushed back anyway so why not just skip it. I am getting the feeling that if KK pitches well on Saturday, we might see a 6 man rotation when Hamels comes back.

  7. bleedgreen - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Polanco REALLY hurt this team if he goes down for the year. He has had this injury since before the ASG, and remained quiet about it despite being the DL. He waited until AFTER he was activated from the DL to say ‘Oh, BTW… I still have this OTHER injury.” If he had just said what was bothering him before the ASG, he could have even had the surgery and been back in another week or so. Not cool, Polly. Not cool.

    • spudchukar - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:47 PM

      Sometimes players are the last to know the severity of an injury. All players play hurt. The tougher ones play more hurt. It is easy to castigate Polanco, but in all likelihood he didn’t believe the injury was serious, that he could play through it, and that he would heal, like he has had to many times in his long career.

      • spudchukar - Aug 16, 2011 at 7:00 PM

        It happens, shouldn’t feel foolish though the times of the postings generally excuse redundancy.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:50 PM

      I don’t blame Polly. I am sure he just though that he was hurt not injured.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:51 PM

        OK, I now see that Spudchukar said the exact same thing. I feel like a tool when that happens.

      • spudchukar - Aug 16, 2011 at 7:01 PM

        However, placing a comment in the wrong spot is pretty stupid.

  8. FC - Aug 16, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    My eye is twitching… Cody Ross must have hit a HR…

  9. dirtyharry1971 - Aug 17, 2011 at 8:34 AM

    maybe hamels will quit and take his ball home like he did in the “09 WS. Guy has no heart for the game

    • thecapedbandito - Aug 17, 2011 at 9:33 AM

      Has enough “heart for the game” to have worked on and added an effective 4th pitch to his arsenal and turn himself into a Cy Young candidate and top 10 pitcher in all of baseball.

    • Utley's Hair - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:15 AM

      Harry, Harry, Harry…if we want to hear from an a$$hole, we’ll fart, okay? It’ll smell better, too. Don’t go away angry…just go away.

  10. Matt Aromando - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Seems like they could already start sitting people regularly with that big of a lead over the division.

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