In between back-to-back losses to the woeful Arizona Diamondbacks, the Phillies received some good news on the injury front. Reliever Jose Contreras, placed on the disabled list on Sunday, will be out for three to four weeks.
When Contreras' injury was first revealed, it was termed a flexor pronator strain, or in layman's terms, an injured right elbow. Since elbow injuries can obviously be troublesome, the Phils were a bit relieved when an MRI Contreras had in Philadelphia on Tuesday showed the injury was a mild, Grade 1 strain.
"It's a very mild strain," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters Tuesday. "Obviously you never want to see someone go on the disabled list, but this is good news for us. It's better than the alternative."
If the alternative would have meant surgery, Contreras could have been lost for the rest of the season.
Contreras was already filling in for another injured relief pitcher; closer Brad Lidge began the season on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder injury. Lidge could begin throwing at some point on the Phillies' upcoming homestand, although he's not expected to return until close to the All-Star break.
"He feels pretty good," Amaro said about Lidge. "He's kind of chomping at the bit right now. We want to make sure that (the doctor) sees him before he starts throwing."
While the Phillies will look to Ryan Madson to anchor what is now a thin, back-of-the-bullpen in the absence of both Contreras and Lidge, they could be turning to a new bat soon to wake up their slumping offense. Rookie outfielder Domonic Brown slugged two home runs in an extended spring training game on Tuesday and will begin an official rehab assignment Wednesday.
Brown, who broke the hamate bone in his right hand on March 5, entered spring training competing for the starting right-fielder's job. The top offensive prospect in the organization, Brown could be a boost to a Phillies offense that went 14 consecutive games without scoring more than four runs until Tuesday's 7-5 defeat to the Diamondbacks.
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