Where in the world is Michael Schwimer?

No one disputes that Michael Schwimer wasn't pitching well for the Phillies lately, allowing six earned runs in his last 6 2/3 innings. The Phillies believe he just wasn't getting the job done, but Schwimer believes he's hurt.

The Phillies believe Michael Schwimer just hasn't pitched well lately. After all, he does have an ERA of 8.08 in his last six outings. With that and a desire to see Phillippe Aumont pitch at the major league level in mind, they optioned Schwimer to Lehigh Valley when Jeremy Horst was activated from the paternity leave list.

At the time, it didn't seem like a major transaction. It raised a few eyebrows, because it was believed Aumont would go right back to the IronPigs when Horst returned, but Schwimer figured to be returning in a week anyway when rosters expand on September first.

That's where it gets interesting; Michael Schwimer says he's hurt. That he's suffering from elbow tendinitis and needs to go on the DL.

So, you might think, 'what's the big deal?' whether Michael Schwimer is optioned to AAA or put on the DL. If he's hurt, he can sit out for the IronPigs just as easily as he could sit out and be on the DL with the Phillies.

The big deal is what's often the big deal; money.

If Michael Schwimer is on the major league roster - or the major league DL - he's earning major league paychecks and service time. If he's optioned out, he's earning minor league paychecks and squat in terms of service time.

Earning the major league minimum of $480,000, Schwimer collects approximately $2,666 per day as a major leaguer. His minor league salary isn't disclosed, but it's likely about an eighth - or $333 per day - of what he makes being on the major league roster. So, being optioned out on the 24th, if he were to be kept off the major league roster until September 1 when teams can expand their rosters to 40 players, he would lose approximately $16,333 for that one week. If he were kept off the roster for the rest of the major league season, he would stand to lose about $96,000.

Officially, Schwimer had until Monday (August 27) to report to the IronPigs or risk being placed on the restricted list. Schwimer said he would seek a second opinion on the injury in an attempt to force the Phillies to place him on the DL. So far, there are no public results of that second opinion and Schwimer was a no-show at Coca-Cola Park last night, but the Phillies aren't taking any action, as of yet.

It's not the first time that Schwimer and the Phillies have been at odds. First, Schwimer was "advised" to stop writing an on-line blog that he was doing. The Phillies didn't just single out Schwimer for that discussion, but targeted other minor league players who were doing blogs on various sites, including PhillyBaseballInsider.com.

Then, Schwimer got himself into a bit of hot water when he announced on Twitter that Hector Luna, Raul Valdes and Jake Diekman were being recalled by the Phillies prior to the team officially making the moves. That one got Schwimer a big discussion with team officials.

There was also an incident where Schwimer spoke publicly about being "skipped over" last season when Michael Stutes was recalled by the Phillies rather than Schwimer.

This latest transgression could well be headed for a grievance, depending on the outcome of Schwimer's second opinion. In either event, you have to wonder if the Phillies might decide that Michael Schwimer needs a change of scenery.

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