First the mysterious shoulder ailment and now his back.
Last season it took an increasingly ineffective Adam Eaton months to "admit" his shoulder had been adversely affecting him for some time. Following yesterday's latest mound misadventures, Eaton "revealed" his back had been bothering him since an incident in the batting cage last July. Tomorrow we can expect to learn the sky is falling.
Prior to yesterday's outing it appeared Adam Eaton had two more starts remaining this Spring before the Phillies would be forced to make a decision about his future with the club. By my reckoning it wasn't out of the question for the Phillies to decide to cut their losses, in the millions of dollars, and release him. With yesterday's "revelation" the cynical money says Eaton may have [shrewdly] complicated the club's choices by introducing the injury factor. Will they put him on the disabled list instead of handing him his walking papers?
Meanwhile, it's too early to hit the panic button on the fourth spot in the rotation currently occupied by Kyle Kendrick, but his poor outings coupled with Eaton's mysterious ailments puts the Phils in a very tough spot. Chris Benson is a long way from picking up the slack, if ever, and something -- salary demands or maybe simply the plain unmistakable facts about his career -- are preventing the Phils from making an offer to Kyle Lohse, an established mediocrity. One thing they shouldn't do is sign Lohse just to keep him off of the Mets' roster.
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The strikeout argument begun by Todd Zolecki in his piece in the Inquirer is interesting if only because failing to put the ball in play is considered the ultimate futility for batters and setting a major league record for K's in a season (which Ryan Howard did last year) a dubious distinction. In the end, however, outscoring the opposition, by whatever means, is all that matters from a team standpoint and OBP has clearly become the measure of an individual's success.
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Before anyone points to Jonathan Papelbon of the Red Sox and says, "Look, they gave him a substantial raise over last year and he's still a year away from arbitration" just keep in mind his length of service is greater than Cole Hamels' and he has come up big when it counted most.