MILWAUKEE -- Mike Adams was supposed to be the big difference maker in the Phillies’ bullpen this season.
Heck, he was supposed to be the big difference maker on the whole team, a man that was going to stop the bleeding on a team that blew 13 eighth-inning leads last season.
But so far, Adams has experienced mostly frustration. He hasn’t been the lights-out eighth-inning setup man that many envisioned he would be, and he’s had trouble staying healthy.
Adams, 34, spent time on the disabled list with a back strain last month, and now he has developed a case of biceps tendinitis in front of his right shoulder. The problem rendered him unavailable in Friday night’s 5-4 loss to the Brewers (see game recap).
Adams downplayed the problem after the game.
“It’s just an irritation,” he said. “We’ll kind of give it a couple days to kind of calm down. I should be ready to go after that.”
Adams had surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome last fall. In the surgery, doctors removed a rib under his right collarbone to relieve pressure. He does not believe this problem is related to that.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “I’ve had this in the past. It’s one of those things that gets irritated. Let it calm down and I’m usually good to go after that.”
Adams has made six appearances since coming off the DL on May 27. In 5 2/3 innings, he has allowed four hits (including two homers), four walks and four runs.
The soreness near his shoulder hasn’t helped.
“It’s kind of been going on for a little bit,” Adams said. “Not a long time. Maybe like the past week. I was just trying to battle through it. I just came to them today and said if you can give me a day or two off to kind of let it calm down hopefully everything kind of gets a little better and you move forward. It’s not a big deal.”
But it is frustrating.
“It just seems like I get rid of one thing and something else pops up,” Adams said.
Manager Charlie Manuel consciously stayed away from relievers Justin De Fratus and Antonio Bastardo on Friday night. They will be available Saturday night, along with Jonathan Papelbon, as the Phils try to get by without Adams until his latest problem is rectified.