Could the Phillies be stricken with bad luck? While Chase Utley and Domonic Brown are sidelined with fairly serious injuries that are keeping them out of action, at length, as well as some less significant ailments preventing other Phillies players like Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino and Brad Lidge from playing in Grapefruit League action this week, the current stretch of bad karma continues to add names to the list of players that are missing time for the favorites in the National League East.
Trailing 2-0 to the Rays in Port Charlotte, on Wednesday afternoon, Roy Oswalt served up a pitched to Tampa Bay slugger Manny Ramirez, who returned the ball with authority right toward the pitchers mound. Oswalt had minimal time to react, but was able to turn away just a bit in his follow-through. The ball hit Oswalt behind his right ear and he was immediately removed from the contest. The right-hander left the field under his own power and was taken to a local hospital where he underwent x-rays and CT scans that proved the tough southern superstar was simply bruised.
According to a statement from the team, Oswalt did not experience any dizziness and did not lose consciousness. It remains to be seen if Oswalt will miss a beat as he would be slated to pitch again early next week in his final tune up for the regular season.
Video of the line drive's impact on Oswalt can be seen in the media player below.
High expectations for the four-time defending National League East champions have begun to seem premature as the club's players have experienced several injuries that serve as a reminder that there is quite a long way to go before the Phillies clinch another postseason berth.
Utley has not played at all this spring due to right knee tendinitis and bone inflammation. No known time table is in place for Utley's return. Brown experienced a broken hamate bone in his right hand in a game earlier this month and is recovering from surgery for the issue. The prized rookie is expected to return to baseball activities some time in April.
Additionally, Polanco has been resting due to a hyperextended left elbow. Lidge should be back to pitching for the Phillies in the coming days after a sore bicep in his throwing arm sidelined him last week. Victorino has been out of the lineup since colliding with Raul Ibanez, while trying to field a fly ball in a game on Monday.
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