Phillies offense could stumble

Jimmy Rollins will be sidelined anywhere from two-to-four weeks with a strained calf.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - If you have been riding the Philadelphia Phillies' offensive wave to the top of your fantasy league's statistical categories, they're averaging 7.14 runs-per-game, beware of the next few weeks, it could be a bumpy ride.

That's because the defending National League champions could be missing a few key players.

On Wednesday, the team announced that three-time All-Star shortstop and leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins had suffered between a Grade 1 and Grade 2 calf strain and will be sidelined anywhere from two-to-four weeks.

What makes this particularly tough for the Phillies is that Rollins had gotten off to a fast start this year, which is not his normal "modus operandi." Rollins was batting .391 with a homer and eight runs scored in the team's first seven games. Last year at this time, he was batting .121 and, in fact, was still batting just .205 on July 1st.

Getting less notice, but probably just as important, was the fact that rightfielder Jayson Werth came out of the last game against the Nationals early with a "sore left hip flexor." Though he claimed it was just precautionary, he could miss the next few games.

There are even some whispers being bandied about, that Werth might have the same type hip problem which led Chase Utley to have surgery in the winter of 2008.

Without Werth in the lineup, the Phillies left handed-dominant lineup, particularly the heart of the order with Utley, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez, would be vulnerable to left-handed starting pitching.

In addition to these two major offensive weapons being out of the lineup, after finishing the series with the Nationals and a three-game set with the Florida Marlins the Phillies will embark on a nine-game road trip with stops in Atlanta, Arizona and San Francisco.

That means they could face the likes of Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson, Dan Haren, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and even a "newly improved" Barry Zito (2-0 ERA 2.25).

I'm not saying the Phillies are in danger of getting shutout every night, just that they are likely to resemble a "mere mortal" offense over the next couple of weeks.

2010 Phillies Hitting Statistics

Jimmy Rollins23891320.3910.7391.255
Placido Polanco31101511000.4840.6771.177
Chase Utley26892600.3460.6541.154
Ryan Howard3261231100.3750.8441.256
Jayson Werth284100400.3570.5000.906
Raul Ibanez27460400.2220.3330.666
Shane Victorino31351510.1610.2580.470
Carlos Ruiz17450100.2940.2940.749

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