The 2011 Philadelphia Phillies continue to play winning baseball, standing at 59-35 as of July 17th. This team has tremendous, tremendous high end talent(OBVIOUSLY!!!) but one of the hidden strengths of this ball club during this season has been the contributions of the entire roster from man #1 to #25. You can talk about SPs Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels but names like Vance Worley(5-1, 2.15 ERA in 11 games, 9 starts) and Antonio Bastardo(18 game scoreless streak snapped Sunday July 17th) have been huge for this pitching staff. Back ups like INF Wilson Valdez as well as OFs Ben Francisco and John Mayberry Jr(recently) have also filled in, contributing both offensively and defensively to the success of the club. This is a team and you begin to realize that the more you follow them on a day to day basis like I do.
MASH UNIT: Lets run thru the health issues with 3 of the Phillies stars. 1st, all star 3B Placido Polanco(Bulging disk in his back) has participated in batting practice for two days(Friday and Saturday,July 15th and 16th) but is sore and not sure if he will come off the DL Wednesday July 20th. He was planning on resting Saturday. CF Shane Victorino(Sprained thumb) was progressing well in his rehab as a DH and was set to play the field Sunday July 17th. If all goes well,he could rejoin the big club as early as Monday July 18th. Former closer Brad Lidge(Shoulder) continues to work in almost a spring training type mode to rebuild arm strength. He is probably looking at a late August return. Veteran RHSP Roy Oswalt(Back) is scheduled to throw off a mound Tuesday and again Friday. Team doctors say he is progressing well.
MARTINEZ THE MAN: 28 year old rookie INF Michael Martinez hit his 1st ML homer(3 run shot) while driving in 4 runs in the 8-5 win over the New York Mets Sunday July 17th. The rule 5 pick up from Washington is a defensive specialist who was hitting .213 in 89 at bats prior to the game.
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