Sources: Phillies seeking infield help

Sources: Phillies seeking infield help
March 13, 2012, 10:54 pm
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KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Phillies, who have a bunch of infielders in camp, are looking for more.

According to multiple major league sources, the team is monitoring the trade market for infield depth.

Phillies officials were on the lookout for infield help even before utility man Michael Martinez left Tuesdays game against Houston with a bruised right elbow, suffered when he was struck by a pickoff throw while leading off second.

Martinez said he was OK and probably would only miss a day or two.

Third baseman Pete Orr had a rough day against the Astros. Houston hitters smacked two hard-hit balls by him, but it appeared as if he could have made plays on both. He was not charged with any errors.

It makes sense that Phillies officials are hunting for infield depth given the health concerns they have in the infield. Neither first baseman Ryan Howard nor second baseman Chase Utley has played in a game this spring and third baseman Placido Polanco has played just sparingly.

Howard is still in a walking boot after having a procedure to clean out an infected wound on the back of his ankle 15 days ago. Howard had surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon in June and was progressing well until the infection caused a setback. Its likely that he wont be ready for regular-season duty until June. Utley, who suffers from chronic knee tendinitis, is being held back until later in camp. Team officials say they are trying to keep him fresh for the long haul and that he will be ready for Opening Day. The team will not say when he will play. Polanco is coming off surgery to repair a double groin tear.

The Phils figure to open the season with the following infielders: Utley, Polanco, Jimmy Rollins, Ty Wigginton and Jim Thome. Martinez came into camp as the favorite to be the utility man, but he has made three errors this spring and Phils officials could be looking to improve on him. They continue to take a look at Orr, Freddy Galvis, Kevin Frandsen and Hector Luna in camp. Galvis is a terrific fielder and can play second, short and third, but Phillies officials prefer him to get regular work in Triple A.

Sources say that left field could also be a position the Phillies are looking to bolster. With Howard out longer than expected, John Mayberry Jr. might lose innings in left field as he helps out at first.

E-mail Jim Salisbury at jsalisbury@comcastsportsnet.com

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