Well, here's a shocker…as per ESPN's Jayson Stark.
The only question now is for how long.
I know I've been knocked for worrying too much about this specific injury, but why shouldn't I be? We lost our guy in the five-hole to the Nats who, despite what you think of him now, was great protection for Ryan Howard in the clean-up. Now, the guy we had preceding him in the lineup could be out anywhere from the next month to the end of the season.
You can only ride these four starters for so long before the issues on the offensive side begin to surmount. I like Wilson Valdez and what he was able to do as a plug-in for an injured offense. I understand and appreciate that the Phillies won 97 games in a year that saw way too many guys get hurt. I hear the argument that the Giants were able to win the World Series last year with great pitching and a subpar lineup…
…but every year is different, for better and for worse. Our healthiest hitter last year is in a different uniform. We don't know what we're going to see from Jimmy Rollins in his contract year. Dom Brown is hurt (and he wasn't impressive before he got injured), Polly isn't in the lineup again today. There is reason to worry.
I'm not losing my mind or pulling my hair out of my head, but I am trying to keep my head out of the clouds every time I hear "R2C2" or the "Four Aces". There are other components on this team that need to be looked at and anaylyzed realistically.
As it stands now, this offense is in trouble. That's the reality. Things may change and players may step up (Ben Francisco looks great this Spring), but you have to go with what you know right now.
It may come off as complaining or whining, but that's not the intent. It's just early season concern for my baseball team. Criticize or analyze however you wish.