Thursday, June 23, 2011
Posted: 7:30 p.m.
By Jim Salisbury
ST. LOUIS The Phillies will be without reliever Jose Contreras for at least a month, possibly longer, after he was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of the flexor tendon in his right forearm on Thursday.
Though the injury is technically in Contreras forearm, manager Charlie Manuel said Contreras was feeling pain in his elbow.
Contreras was placed on the 15-day disabled list. He wont throw for two weeks. After that he will start to build up his arm again. The team estimates he will be out four to six weeks.
The Phils promoted left-handed reliever Juan Perez from Triple A to take Contreras spot. Perez, 32, is in his 13th season of pro ball. He appeared in the majors with Pittsburgh in 2006 and 2007. He can ride his fastball into the mid-90s and has a good slider, according to Phils assistant general manager Benny Looper.
The Phils would like to find a consistent second lefty to team with their other lefty, Antonio Bastardo, in the bullpen, so this could be a good opportunity for Perez, who had a 3.52 ERA in 30 23 innings at Triple A. He had held left-handed hitters to a .184 batting average (7 for 38).
Manuel said Contreras felt pain warming up in the bullpen over the weekend in Seattle. This is the second time this season that the 39-year-old Contreras has been on the DL with an elbowforearm strain. He signed a two-year, 5.5 million contract before the season.
The Phillies had positive reports on Perez. They have a number of other relievers who could get a look in Philadelphia before the season is out, including recently promoted prospects Phillippe Aumont and Justin De Fratus, both righthanders. Michael Schwimer, another righthander, has also pitched well in relief. Lefthander Mike Zagurski, who has already been up twice this season, could also return at some point. Righthander Scott Mathieson is now starting at Triple A after spending a couple of seasons in the bullpen.
Ibanez still out
Raul Ibanez was not in the starting lineup for the second game in a row Thursday night. Ben Francisco started in left field. Ibanez is 3 for 15 in his last four games. Manuel said he wanted to get the 39-year-old Ibanez some rest. He will likely start Friday night at home against Oakland righty Guillermo Moscoso.
Pitcher Jarred Cosart and catcher Sabastian Valle, both playing at Single A Clearwater, have been selected to play in MLBs Futures Game on July 10 in Phoenix. The game will be played two days before MLBs All-Star Game.
E-mail Jim Salisbury at firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow him on Twitter @JSalisburyCSN.
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