We've officially reached the part of spring training when an injury could mean opening the season on the disabled list. A sore arm or knee in mid-February is no big deal, but now it can impact the 25-man roster. Pitchers battling arm issues have only two weeks to get in enough work to be ready, and position players who aren't playing now are almost certainly not going to be ready for the first pitch of the season.
And Chase Utley, who has yet to go through a running or fielding drill, went to see a specialist, David Murphy writes. The good news for the Phillies is that Brad Lidge (biceps tendinitis) is feeling better, and Placido Polanco says he's 100 percent sure he'll be ready for Opening Day.
Other injury issues:
2. Shaun Marcum left his start on Wednesday because of shoulder tightness, and while Marcum downplayed what he felt, his manager sounds concerned. From Andrew Gruman's story: "There is definitely concern there," said [Ron] Roenicke. "His neck bothered him the last couple of days and when he went out there today, he thought it was the neck. I don't know if he was overcompensating, I don't know. We're in a tough spot if he's down for a while." One evaluator who saw Marcum's start on Thursday clocked his fastball at 86 mph. Not a good sign. Marcum has never been a power pitcher, but what concerns evaluators who have seen him this spring, beyond the velocity, is the quality of his fastball. Hopefully for the Brewers and for Marcum, he'll get better as he goes along.
Within the same piece, there is word that Manny Parra suffered a setback and won't be ready when the season starts.
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