Who would have thought that the most indispensable part of the Phillies infield would turn out to be Juan Castro. 

When Jimmy Rollins tweaked his calf muscle in mid-April he was batting .391, with a .516 OBP, and a wOBA of .527. Impressive numbers, ones that he certainly would not have been able to keep up over the course of the season, but clearly he would be very hard to replace.

He was replaced by Juan Castro, who provided solid defense, in addition to at least moderately adequate offensive numbers, batting .258 with a .255 wOBA. 

But when Castro came down with a strained left knee, the Phillies had no choice but to insert Wilson Valdez into the starting lineup. 

Doing his best Exxon Valdez impression, Wilson Valdez has been about as helpful to the Phillies offense as the oil spill was to the Alaskan wildlife. 

Valdez is currently batting .152, but more impressively has somehow managed to ground into five double plays in the last week alone.

It takes a sincere concerted effort to provide such a debilitating presence in a lineup. 

The penguins and seals that had the misfortune of making their habitat off the coast of Alaska in 1989 may have had their ecosystem destroyed by millions of gallons of oil, but at least they didn’t have to deal with rally-killing double plays.

While the injuries to the position players have been irksome, the injuries to the Phillies bullpen are now bordering on the macabre.

Brad Lidge had finally returned from his off-season knee and elbow surgeries, and at least initially seemed to be vaguely resembling the pitcher who saved 48 games in 48 chances in 2008.

This brief tidbit of good news was of course followed by reports that Lidge is yet again feeling tightness in his elbow and has been consulting with team doctors. 

But the Lidge injury cannot even come close to rivaling the unfortunate and cataclysmic event that happened to Ryan Madson. 

Perhaps dismayed with his inability to dominate opposing batters in the 9th inning of games so far this year, upon blowing yet another save, this time against the San Francisco Giants on April 26th, Madson returned to the dugout, where sources say he was rudely, irresponsibly, and vulgarly, verbally abused by a particularly sassy folding chair. 

Now being a man of supreme pride, and impressive martial arts abilities, Ryan Madson defended himself by issuing a swift roundhouse kick to said chair.

Unfortunately because of his aggressive self-defense, Madson managed to fracture a toe and now currently resides on the 60 day DL.

But such a small price to pay for reducing a sarcastic chair to mere splinters.

While on the plus side, the Phillies have still managed to chug along with a 20-13 record, one can only hope their days of rash decisions and unfortunate injuries are behind them.

But then again, this is baseball, and as long as there are games there will be injuries, and in Ryan Madson’s case, as long as there are chairs, there will be blood. 


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