After the Phillies lost again Tuesday night, Charlie Manuel discussed the importance of getting healthy for the playoff run. That statement took on an even more ominous tone after the team indicated that right fielder Hunter Pence was dealing with patellar tendonitis (or tendinitis, depending on your grasp of the language).
It was disclosed that Pence would be getting a precautionary MRI on Wednesday.
While he may have collected a couple hits in the Game 1 loss, Pence was obviously not 100%. And the training staff, despite Pence’s protests, insisted that the Phillies sparkplug skip the Game 2 nightcap.
“Our doctors and our trainers checked him out and our trainer came back and said he’d prefer him not to play in the second game,” Manuel said. “Hunter was wanting to play.”
Patellar tendonitis is what cost Chase Utley a large chunk of the first part of the season. And while Utley’s issue is unfortunately likely attributed to the body’s breakdown that comes with age, the younger Pence is likely just dealing with some wear and tear and the effects of playing hard day in and day out. Pence has actually played every inning of every game since joinging the Phillies in July.
Now, Pence has likely angered the Phillies front office by disclosing his thoughts on the knee via Twitter, the bane of info-mongering general managers everywhere.
So we’ll see what happens. Luckily, with not only a postseason berth clinched but home field advantage throughout the playoffs as well, the Phils can afford to give Pence some well earned rest down the stretch. A refreshed and recharged Pence, hopefully with a pain free knee, will be a huge part of the Phillies run to the World Series.