Decisions To Leave DL Can Be Dicey

 Posted by at 2:37 pm
Aug 292010

Phillies 2B Chase Utley

August 29 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Bob Brookover

“In a world that’s always in a rush, major-league baseball players are no different.

In the last six weeks, Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard have returned from the disabled list after short medical rehab assignments.

It’s difficult to say exactly how long these things should last, but it is obvious that big-league players do not want them to last very long. Given their choice between meaningless minor-league at-bats and a chance to help the team in Philadelphia win, it’s always an easy decision.

You have to wonder whether it’s always the right one.

Polanco, recovering from an elbow injury that likely will require surgery after the season, was adamant immediately after the all-star break that he was ready to return, despite getting just seven combined at-bats in two games with single-A Clearwater and the rookie-level team in Clearwater.

In his case, a quick return seemed like the right move. He came back hitting and fielding the same way he has all season. For Polanco, it’s a matter of how much pain he can tolerate in his elbow before season’s end. More rest is probably not going to help solve the problems being caused by a bone spur.

Victorino was scheduled to play in three games when he started his rehab earlier this month after missing 13 games because of a strained oblique muscle. A groin injury to Ross Gload and the fact that Victorino went 4 for 6 in his two games with triple-A Lehigh Valley accelerated his return by a game.

Again, the expedited timetable seemed harmless enough.

The cases of Utley and Howard are different.”

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