The Phillies have had injury-riddled seasons before, but 2012 has been nothing like we’ve seen in the past. From the team’s cleanup hitters and front-end rotation guys to the long men and righty specialists, nearly every part of the team has been affected by an injury over the course of the first two months. Somehow, the Phils remain 2.5 games within first place in the division and three game over .500.
Shane Victorino: On Friday, the All-Star center fielder had a cortisone shot in his right index finger in order to get some relief. Victorino said the finger has bothered him since Spring Training, especially when he’s batting left-handed. The stats show it too: Victorino is batting .333 right-handed, but has batted on .227 on the opposite side. As a result, Victorino was taken out of the lineup against the Marlins for the first time this season, but he would return in the 8th inning as a defensive replacement in center field. Victorino is expected to return on Saturday for the second game of the series against Miami.
Roy Halladay: Halladay has not looked like himself this entire season, posting a 4-5 record with a 3.98 ERA; his past 2 seasons in Philly have resulted in a 40-16 record with a 2.39 ERA; he also threw a no-hitter, a perfect game, and won a Cy Young. Now, with his unusually slow start in Spring Training and the regular season, he has been prohibited from throwing a baseball for 3 weeks and we will likely not see him pitch in the majors for seven.
Halladay was re-examined in New York by Mets physician Dr. David Altchek. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. wants to compare his second MRI to the MRI he had in 2009, when he had a similar problem. Hopefully he can return to action before the All-Star break.
Vance Worley: The Vanimal, who is on the 15-day DL because of elbow inflammation, threw two bullpen sessions this week and is ready to start on Monday but for only 45-50 pitches. Worley claims he is excited to return because he has not experienced any pain throwing but doesn’t want to risk re-injuring the elbow and getting Tommy John surgery, which he plans to get during the offseason. At least our homegrown sensation has brought some good news for now.
Jim Thome – Jim had his first rehab assignment in Clearwater yesterday. Thome, placed on the 15-DL on April 23, has been dealing with a strained back. The Phillies expect Thome to be back by Friday, June 8 for the Phillies 9-game AL road trip against the Orioles, Twins, and Blue Jays so he can serve as the DH.
Michael Martinez – The Phillies versatile utility player, who fractured his right foot in a Spring Training game, also had his first rehab assignment in Clearwater with Thome. Martinez is expected to return to action soon as well.
Chase Utley: Amaro says that Utley, who has been dealing with a degenerative knee condition, will return to action when he feels like he can—a typical vague response from Utley. It is very unlikely for Utley to return soon, because he has not seen live pitching since last October. He will need a significant amount of time in the minors before he’s ready to make some noise in the big leagues, so it could be that we don’t see him until late July.
There are some rumors that Utley could transfer to the outfield to save his knees, as he has been seen shagging fly balls in the outfield during the Phillies warmups. When Amaro was questioned regarding where Utley will be playing when he comes back, he was reluctant to give a full response.
Ryan Howard: The Phillies’ most concerning injury belongs to Ryan Howard as he continues to recuperate from the ruptured Achilles he suffered in the Game 5 loss to the Cardinals. According to Howard, rehab has been going very well as he continues to see simulated pitching and jogs regularly. It is unlikely to see the Phillies’ big man in the lineup before July 1. After all, it takes 9-12 months to recover from such a injury so he’s making great progress nevertheless.
Laynce Nix: Nix, who has been sidelined with a strained calf, has continued running in New York this week. He was also seen running around Citizens Bank Park on Friday before the game against the Marlins, but no time has been set for his return.
Follow @KhandymanSports on Twitter or like Khandyman Sports on Facebook for more Philly updates!