It seems as if injuries are the storyline of the season for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Chase Utley is still a few weeks from returning from the disabled list with his surgically repaired thumb, Jimmy Rollins was benched yesterday with a foot injury, and to top it all off, outfielder Shane Victorino was pulled in the seventh inning with a strained muscle in his left side.
Weeks ago, I preached to the Phillies collective that the describing word for the Phillies was inconsistency, and it still may be, but in this recent six game winning streak, the buzz word must be resilience.
The resilience of a roster that has not been whole in months. The resilience that had one of the best pitchers in the league, Ubaldo Jimenez, running for the showers. The team did this on the back of a pitcher who was just demoted to the minor's days before. J.A. Happ, who hadn't pitched in the majors since April, scrounged for a victory on Sunday just days after replacing Jamie Moyer in the starting rotation.
Moyer, who is now injured with a strained tendon in his elbow and forearm, is questioning surgery and even his career which is another injury the Phillies can add to their laundry list of walking wounded.
Yet with all of these issues, the team has managed their improbable winning streak and has even gained ground in the division, now just sitting 3 1/2 games back of division leading Atlanta Braves.
The injury bug is even transcending the Phillies current roster.
Just days ago Dan Haren, formerly of the Diamondbacks, left his first start for his new ballclub the L.A. Angels after taking a line drive off the leg. Haren was one of the key pitching names targeted by the Phillies.
Just yesterday, there were rumors surfacing involving a possible trade between the Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays. The deal was proposed to send Jayson Werth to Tampa for outfielder B.J. Upton and prospects. Just hours after the rumors, Upton left the game will an injury to his right ankle and is now listed as day-to-day.
It seems as if divine intervention is plaguing even those loosely associated with the team, yet with all of these injuries and proposed injuries, the Phillies manage to pull out wins.
The Phillies have done their best piecing together a roster that, for one reason or another, has been getting it done. Role players like Ross Gload have come up big for reasons unknown to many. Even the slumping Jayson Werth reveled in his resilience, hitting his 14th homerun of the season in the sixth inning of the teams 9-5 romping of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
With the recent roster issues the Phillies have a few options to assess. As many have mentioned, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is sitting behind the eight ball with increased pressure to make a move for either a starting pitcher or another right handed bat to come off the bench and add some depth.
Upton would have been a solution to the right handed bat issues, but it would have come at the cost of the teams only other right handed producer in Werth. The Phillies have discussed publicly the option of bringing up minor league prospect Dominic Brown from Lehigh Valley. Brown wouldn't help with the right handed bat issues, but could ease the stress on the club if they were to make a trade for one of their outfielders.
With the MLB trade deadline just three days away, the Phillies have issues to discuss. The recent injuries make their list of wants even greater, yet with a lack of minor league prospects and their depleted, injured roster, a trade may be even harder to make. What is known is that a move needs to be made the only question is by the time it gets done, will the team have enough players to remain competitive?
Side note: Brown went 2-4 last night against Durham with a triple and two RBI and is currently ranked #1 in MLB Minor League Prospect Rankings.
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