At this point, the number of Philadelphia Phillies players on the disabled list is beyond amazing. Although the lack of offense is saddening, it pales in comparison to what accounts for 15% of the 40-man roster having been on the disabled list this season. Admittedly, this is a tough stretch of offensive woes, but as said earlier, the Philadelphia Phillies are not alone, and they are facing some of the better offenses. Not discounting the depression of offense in most teams currently, the Boston Red Sox, the Cleveland Indians and Washington Nationals all lit up their opponents recently.
Presently, Chase Utley, one of Phillies better bats, has become healthier over the past month or so. He is expected back this Monday after his recovery from patellar tendinitis. With him back in the lineup, he should become a leader in the Phillies offense. And with Shane Victorino out for a strained left hamstring, he won’t be expected to return until early June. Victorino has been having a solid season with a .284 batting average and a very good .343 on-base percentage. His replacement Dominic Brown is not such a good replacement. With present season statistics of a .210 batting average and .257 on-base percentage, he has been average on offense.
Unfortunately, the Phillies pitching roster has taken a hit, but it may not be quite as bad as expected. With starter Joe Blanton out, Kyle Kendrick has taken over. Joe Blanton has been the weakest link of the Phillies pitching rotation. Presently, he’s had a mediocre 5.50 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP before being sidelined. Kyle Kendrick has done slightly better although he has played half the number of games that Blanton has this season. Kendrick currently has a 3.28 ERA and 1.42 WHIP.
With both closers Jose Contreras and Brad Lidge both sidelined, Ryan Madson has taken the role of closer with finesse. He’s had a 0.50 ERA on 18 innings pitched and with 9 saves to date. Contreras is expected to return fairly soon, and Lidge is expected to return in June sometime. Although things could have gone worse once Madson took over, he’s been more consistent than either Contreras or Lidge and better than both statistically over their careers.
With Brian Schneider out, Carlos Ruiz has taken the position of catcher full-time again. Between the two, Ruiz has been better offensively. Ruiz presently has a .220 batting average and a much better .316 on-base percentage; on the other hand, Schneider has a dismal .173 batting average and .218 on-base percentage. Although Schneider has clicked with most of the starting pitching rotation as a catcher, his lack of offense won’t be missed. Unfortunately, neither of them are Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants. He’s been an offensive weapon with a very good .281 batting average and .369 on-base percentage for this season.
Fortunately, for manager Charlie Manuel and Phillies fans, most of those on the disabled-list are returning by the close of June at the latest. Until then, we can hope that no more Phillies players go on the disabled-list while we wait.