Phillies Notebook: Phillies prospect Gillies hamstrung by recurring injury

Gillies
Gillies
Posted: March 22, 2011

CLEARWATER, Fla. - When Tyson Gillies arrived at spring training last month, he spoke with optimism about the chance for a fresh start, particularly with regard to a balky left hamstring that hampered him throughout much of last season. Which is why the recent recurrence of the strain will come as disappointing news.

Gillies, a speedy outfielder who was one of three players acquired in exchange for Cliff Lee in December 2009, reinjured the hamstring while running sprints last week at the Carpenter Complex. The Phillies entered the spring hoping the 22-year-old centerfielder was finally healthy. In 2009, he hit .341 with a .430 on-base percentage, .916 OPS and 44 stolen bases for high-A High Desert in the Mariners' system. Last year, though, Gillies' inability to shake the hamstring limited him to just 26 games at Double A Reading in which he hit .238 with a .286 OBP, .619 OPS and two steals.

"He's having a recurring problem," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He's disappointed. So are we. We'd like to get him back on the field and get him some playing time."

Instead, they will send him to a specialist sometime this week and decide on a course of action for treating the injury.

While Gillies faces an uncertain prognosis, Amaro said the sore left arm that has briefly slowed well regarded prospect Jonathan Singleton is nothing serious.

Singleton tore through the South Atlantic League as an 18-year-old, hitting .290 with 14 home runs and an .872 OPS for low-A Lakewood. Because the lefthanded-hitting slugger is blocked by Ryan Howard at his natural position of first base, the Phillies are attempting to convert him into an outfielder. The increased load on his throwing arm caused some soreness, but Amaro said Singleton is currently long-tossing and should be ready to return to action soon.

Victorino OK

An impressive performance by Roy Halladay in a 4-1 win over Jon Lester and the Red Sox yesterday included a dangerous collision between Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez after both players converged full-speed on a fly ball to shallow left-center in the fifth inning. Victorino remained facefirst on the ground for a few minutes as his teammates converged around him, but eventually rose to his feet with a grin and jogged off the field to the clubhouse. The official diagnosis: a left eye contusion and a sore jaw, but Victorino said it is nothing serious.

"There was blood and stuff coming out of my nose and mouth," the centerfielder said. "That more than anything kind of made me a little nervous, but other than that, everything was fine."

Victorino said the team would monitor him over the next couple of days, but that he did not have a headache and felt healthy enough to play.

"Everything's good," he said. "Jaw's a little sore, but that's part of the game. Ready to go when I need to."

About the game

Halladay held the Red Sox to one run on five hits and three walks, striking out six in 7 2/3 innings of the Phillies' victory. The veteran righthander is now 3-0 with a 0.48 ERA in four starts. The Red Sox scored their only run in the fifth inning, snapping Halladay's 15 scoreless innings streak to start the Grapefruit League season.

Phillers

Third baseman Placido Polanco is scheduled to begin swinging a bat today, 1 day later than he had initially hoped. Manager Charlie Manuel said his training staff has said it expects Polanco, who suffered a mild hyperextended elbow last week, to be able to play within the next couple of days . . . Brad Lidge is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game, his first competitive action since March 11. Lidge, who had trouble building velocity in his arm, was shut down with what the club termed a minor case of biceps soreness . . .

Outfielder Ben Francisco laughed off Mark Teixeira's comments to the New York Post that took umbrage with a slight collision the two players had during the Phillies' game against the Yankees on Sunday. Teixeira thought Francisco needlessly ran into him during a groundout to first base, saying, "That's not a hustle play, there is no reason for it. He could hurt me or hurt himself. That's not baseball." Francisco declined to respond . . . Righthander Brian Schlitter (right elbow) and infielder Brian Bocock (left wrist) are both headed for followup MRIs and second opinions on their respective injuries. Neither player was expected to make the Opening Day roster.

For more Phillies coverage and opinion, read David Murphy's blog, High Cheese, at www.philly.com/HighCheese. Follow him on Twitter at

http://twitter.com/HighCheese.

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