And the news isn’t promising.
Early Thursday morning, MLB Network’s Peter Gammons reported that Utley’s thumb will require surgery, something that Phillies Beat Writer David Murphy repeated shortly after. Apparently, the ligaments in his thumb were torn to the extent that they could not heal naturally, and Todd Zolecki has confirmed that the procedure will take place today, likely derailing the all-star 2nd basemen for at least 8 weeks.
The outlook is clearly not good. As I stated in a previous post, the difference between losing Utley for 15 days and losing Utley for 60 days is HUGE. While the Phillies now have to deal with these injuries along with a depleted farm system, they do have some some options if Utley were to have surgery.
In reality, a lot has to do on the health of Placido Polanco. He is in New York right now seeking a second opinion on his chronic elbow condition to his non-throwing elbow, and if the prognosis is good and allows him to come back soon after his 15-day DL stint is complete, then Ruben Amaro, Charlie Manuel, and company have a choice to make.
Do you go out and get a 3rd baseman in FA or via trade, and spare Polanco to the extent that you can and play him at 2nd?
Do you go out and get a 2nd basemen in FA or via trade, and let Polanco resume his normal duties as the everyday 3rd basemen?
With Castro and Valdez being middle-infielders by nature, I would say to the capacity that you can, keep in Polanco at third. Sure, Hank Blaylock and Garrett Atkins are both on the FA market and are naturals at the hot corner, but they are on the FA market for a reason. Neither are close to the level of Polanco, even at his present injured state, and with him semi-healthy at 3B along with the surprise-of-the-season Wilson Valdez at second for the next month or two to fill in for Utley, the Phillies may actually be able to survive this disaster.
That is IF Polanco can come back healthy. A Big IF.
And Utley of course..
Other Phillies News
: ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported Thursday that the Phillies have Dan Haren on their “radar”. Arizona is looking to deal him, along with the 12+ million dollars that he is owed next season. If this is true, then is shows that the Phillies are seriously interested in adding a pitcher, and that money isn’t as much of deal-breaker than we think. If that’s the case, my question is why don’t you bring back Cliff Lee instead?
: Along with Blaylock and Atkins, here are a couple other names to look at as potential replacements for Utley via trade. Seattle’s Jose Lopez and Baltimore’s Ty Wigginton and Miguel Tejada.
: Surely some Philadelphia fans were a bit perplexed when the Phillies promoted SS Brian Bocock (.179 BA in 65 games) from Triple-A Lehigh Valley instead of INF Cody Ransom (International League All-Star selection, 15 HR). Reportedly, Ransom has been dealing with a knee injury which is why he wasn’t called up. So hitting .238 with a team-high 15 errors at Lehigh Valley, and not being on the 40-man roster at the time of the callup had nothing to do with it?
: Bring back PEDRO FELIZ!