Phillies hold off on DL decision for Rollins

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Jimmy Rollins underwent an MRI Tuesday afternoon. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Jimmy Rollins has a strained right calf that has required him to be placed in a protective boot, but Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said the team will not make a decision on the shortstop's status until Wednesday. Rollins suffered the injury during warmups before Monday's home opener against the Washington Nationals. The severity of the injury was confirmed by an MRI examination Tuesday at Jefferson's Rothman Institute.

"Jimmy had an MRI at 2 p.m. this afternoon," Amaro said. "We are reviewing the results of the MRI and will decide on Jimmy's status sometime (Wednesday) when we have the opportunity to meet as a group."

It still seems likely that the Phillies will place Rollins on the disabled list and probably place him on the roster by promoting infielder Wilson Valdez from triple-A Lehigh Valley. Valdez was off to a hot start with the Iron Pigs, batting .474  (9 for 19) through Monday.  Valdez also had a solid spring training, batting .313 (10 for 32)  with three doubles, a home run and six RBIs. The 31-year-old native of the Dominican Republican Republic is a 13-year professional who has had major-league stints with five different teams. In 152 career games, he has batted .222 with one home run and 27 RBIs.

Valdez has played every infield position except first base, but is most experienced at shortstop. Juan Castro, however, is expected to be Rollins' replacement at shortstop. Castro started in Rollins' place and batted leadoff in the home opener, but will likely drop in the batting order Wednesday night against the Nationals. The only reason he batted first Monday was because Rollins had already been submitted to the umpires as the starter at shortstop.

The new batting order will likely feature center fielder Shane Victorino in the leadoff spot with Castro dropping to eighth and catcher Carlos Ruiz moving up one spot to seventh.

“We’ve been doing this about four years now," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Let me tell you something, just because somebody goes down, we're going to continue right on playing. We have some guys sitting along the bench who can get the job done."

The Phillies have played long stretches without second baseman Chase Utley and Rollins each of the previous three seasons. Last season, the Phillies were 4-3 in games Rollins did not start, including a 2-2 mark during a four-game stretch in late June when he was benched because he was in the midst of a monstrous slump at the plate.

In 2008, the Phillies were 16-10 during a 26-game stretch that Rollins either did not play or did not start at shortstop because of a severe left ankle injury he suffered early in the season.

"We do a good job of picking each other up, whether guys are injured or struggling," Utley said.

The Phillies went 15-13 during a 28-game stretch without Utley after the second baseman suffered a broken right hand in 2007 that occurred when he was hit by a pitch from Washington's John Lannan.

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