Thursday, August 28, 2014
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Updated: Rollins' fate won't be decided until tomorrow

Updated: 7:01 p.m. --

Updated: Rollins' fate won't be decided until tomorrow

The Phillies will announce Wednesday whether Jimmy Rollins will go on the disabled list. (Nick Wass/AP file photo)
The Phillies will announce Wednesday whether Jimmy Rollins will go on the disabled list. (Nick Wass/AP file photo)

Updated: 7:01 p.m. --

Any decision on Jimmy Rollins' future will not be made until tomorrow, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement released by the team. The shortstop had an MRI on his strained calf earlier this afteroon, but Amaro said the team will delay a decision on a disabled list stint until Wednesday, when the necessary decision makers will be able to meet face-to-face. These decision-makers likely include Amaro, team doctor Michael Ciccotti, head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan, manager Charlie Manuel, and the three assistant general managers, who will be able to shed some light on the various options to replace Rollins if he does indeed need a stint on the DL.

If Rollins does go on the DL, there would seem to be two likely options to replace him: Either utility man Brian Bocock, who was claimed off of waivers from the Blue Jays earlier this spring, or outfielder John Mayberry Jr., who appeared in a couple of stints with the team last year. Both are at Triple-A Lehigh Valley at the moment, and both are on the 40-man roster, so they can move up and down freely between the majors and minors.

A lot could depend on whether Jayson Werth will be able to play over the next few days. He downplayed the severity of the hip soreness that knocked him out of yesterday's win over the Nationals, and predicted that he would be back playing "in a couple of days." If the Phillies think there is a possibility that "a couple of days" will stretch into 5, 6, 7 days, they could call up Mayberry for some right-handed pop off the bench, as well as a right-handed bat to spell Raul Ibanez in a game against a lefty starter. Of course, this would leave them without a proven option at short stop should Juan Castro suffer an injury. Placido Polanco has played close to 200 games at short stop in his career. So if the Phillies went with Mayberry, they could move Polanco to short stop for a few innings if Castro were to get hurt during a game, replace him at third with Greg Dobbs, and then send Mayberry down to the minors and call-up Bocock after the game.

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Chances are, Bocock will get the call, although if Rollins is due to miss much more than 15 days, the team could decide to go with veteran utility man Wilson Valdez, who had a strong spring as a non-roster invitee and who has hit well in his first five games at Lehigh Valley. Valdez is regarded as a better defensive short stop than fellow IronPig Cody Ransom, who played third base today in a game against the Pawtucket BoSox.

The Phillies have an open spot on their 40-man roster, meaning they could promote Valdez without jettisoning anybody. However, they would have to expose him to waivers if they were to send him back down, since he is out of options.

Bocock would seem to give the team the most flexibility in the short term. He would serve as a third quarterback of sorts on the bench. Keep in mind that Castro did not play at all in the first six games of the season. Bocock's primary role would be to replace Castro if he gets hurt. If that happens, the Phillies could then call Valdez up to assume the starting job. It might make more sense for the Phillies to keep Valdez in the minors as a potential long-term replacement down the road. If the Phillies call up Valdez now, and Rollins returns in 15 days, they'll risk losing Valdez to another team because they'll have to DFA him. Which leaves them with even less middle infield depth should Rollins get hurt again later.

You can see why the Phillies want to meet face-to-face before deciding on anything.

David Murphy Daily News Staff Writer
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