Now is really no time for injuries in Philly.
Philadelphia Phillies ace lefty Cole Hamels has a strained elbow and most likely will miss at least two starts, overshadowing the great news of All-Star second baseman Chase Utley's upcoming return from the DL.
Hamels (14-5, 3.50 ERA) will have an MRI exam and miss his scheduled start Wednesday against Los Angeles after having suffered persistent soreness in his pitching elbow.
The 23-year-old bombshell said he expected to miss at least two starts and land on the disabled list.
Considering Freddy Garcia, Adam Eaton and Jon Lieber are all out of commission, this comes as devastating news to a Phillies club with the hopes of catching New York in the NL-East standings.
They are five games behind the Mets and one ahead of the Atlanta Braves while trailing the San Diego Padres by just a game in the Wild Card chase. Unfortunately, their only remaining anchor in the rotation is 44-year-old lefty Jamie Moyer.
Now for the good news. Utley may rejoin the team sooner than later. Batting .336 with 17 homers and 82 RBIs, the stud middle-infielder took 50-60 hard practice swings before Tuesday's game for the first time since his right hand was struck by a pitch almost a month ago.
The youngster said he was going "stir crazy" watching the Phillies drop two of three against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
So, before he took his first practice cut, he jokingly asked manager Charlie Manuel to put him in the lineup.
"Yeah, he's in the lineup," Manuel chuckled. "He's hitting 10th."[The Phanatic]