Phillies Notes: Valdez injury opens door for Orr, Martinez - and Rollins

The Phillies wanted to ensure Jimmy Rollins was completely healthy before he returned to regular play. (Ron Cortes/Staff file photo)
The Phillies wanted to ensure Jimmy Rollins was completely healthy before he returned to regular play. (Ron Cortes/Staff file photo)
Posted: September 12, 2011

MILWAUKEE - Wilson Valdez had never experienced hamstring problems before. So that's why he attempted to stay in Saturday's game after injuring his left leg.

"I was trying to," Valdez said. "But if I hit, I don't think I would have been able to run to first base. If I tried to run hard, I would pull it."

Valdez was ultimately removed and sat on the bench Sunday. It's notable only because Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins were already out of the lineup. So Charlie Manuel fielded a double-play combo of Pete Orr and Michael Martinez in Sunday's series finale against Milwaukee.

Valdez said he does not think the injury will sideline him for long. He said he could be ready by Monday, although the team has not said anything definitive about Valdez' injury.

Manuel said he will start Rollins on Monday in Houston. Rollins pinch-hit in the ninth inning and struck out.

He was pressed into emergency duty in the 10th inning Saturday when Valdez could no longer stay in. He grounded out to short and ran out the ball for a close play at first. He did not have any chances at shortstop.

Rollins has not started a game since Aug. 21 because of a strained groin. He has participated fully in batting practice and taken groundballs for the previous week. But the Phillies wanted to ensure he was completely healthy before he returned to regular play.

Houston homecoming

It'll be a reunion of sorts for a bunch of players on both teams when the Phillies play the Astros. Namely, it's the first time Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence will play as visitors in Minute Maid Park.

Oswalt, who pitched for 10 seasons in Houston, starts Monday opposite former Phillie Brett Myers.

"The team is a little bit different, but it's still Houston," Oswalt said. "They gave me a chance coming out of junior college to play, so it's kind of special to go back."

Pence's separation from the Astros was more recent than Oswalt's, and the outfielder still has a home in the city. His parents drove most of his belongings to Philadelphia, but there are still some items in Houston.

"I'm just going to enjoy it," Pence said. "I'm just going to go have fun in a familiar park."

The team has changed a great deal even since Pence left. He was the face of the franchise for the last few seasons. He does not expect any emotions whatsoever.

"I'm just going to go play hard, go have fun," Pence said. "That's what I've always done my whole career. It's a familiar park. I've been there a lot. It is what it is."

The Phillies will also face a familiar face Tuesday in J.A. Happ. He'll oppose Cole Hamels.

Thirty for Madson

Ryan Madson, doubted as a closer by Phillies personnel at the beginning of the season, recorded his 30th save in Saturday's win.

"That proves he can do it," Manuel said. "He was hurt there for quite a while, and he's done a tremendous job for us. He gets in the fire some time, and he can get out of it. He has talent."

Extra bases

Chase Utley is scheduled for a second ImPACT test to confirm that he remains asymptomatic from his mild concussion. Utley's first ImPACT test showed he was near baseline levels recorded in spring training. . . . Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee have thrown the same number of innings (2102/3) with identical ERAs (2.44). . . . Manuel is just seven wins away from tying Gene Mauch's franchise record of 645 victories by a manager.


Contact staff writer Matt Gelb at mgelb@phillynews.com or @magelb on Twitter.

 

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