The Red Sox may be losing players to injury at a staggering rate, but the Philadelphia Phillies are right on their heels in that department.
The Phils placed two starting infielders — second baseman Chase Utley and third baseman Placido Polanco — on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.
Utley sprained his right thumb in the eighth inning of the Phillies-Reds game in Cincinnati on Monday night. It’s just the second time that Utley, a four-time All-Star, has been on the DL. The last time came in 2007, when he missed a month due to a broken wrist.
Polanco has suffered left elbow inflammation all season long after being hit by a pitch in April, but was placed on the DL after not responding well to a cortisone shot he received on Sunday. The third baseman leads the team with a .318 average this year, after signing a three-year, $18 million dollar deal with Philadelphia this winter.
There is currently no timetable for either player’s return. An MRI on Utley’s thumb didn’t reveal the severity of the sprain, and Utley returned to Philadelphia to see a hand specialist and receive more tests on Wednesday.
Polanco has played through pain since April, and may require surgery after the season. That said, he still may return in 2010.
"The main thing is we need to find out the length of Chase and Poly’s stay on the DL," assistant general manager Scott Proefrock told The Associated Press. "At this point, we’re not sure."
Both Utley and Polanco are currently in the lead for NL All-Star votes at their respective positions. Utley is having a down year by his standards with just a .277 average, 11 home runs and 37 RBIs, but he leads Atlanta’s Martin Prado at second base by over 1.3 million votes. Polanco has a slight edge of less than 23,000 votes over New York’s David Wright at third base.