Not Again! Bell and Padilla Both Injured

Optimists might say that having Vicente Padilla and David Bell go down with injuries clears spots for Placido Polanco and Gavin Floyd. While Padilla and Floyd may have built in replacements, having both go down with injuries before the Phillies even played a spring game isn't what we all had in mind.

On Monday morning, Vicente Padilla and David Bell were both on their way to finding out about their respective ailments. Padilla was undergoing an MRI, while Bell got on a plane for Dallas to have his aching back examined.

Last season, Padilla missed two months with right triceps tendinitis. After throwing on Sunday, he reported soreness in his arm that felt suspiciously like the injury from last season. An exam by team doctors revealed that the tendinitis had indeed flared up and Padilla was immediately shut down. It's not sure how long he will be out, but the Phillies will be cautious with the injury. Last season, Padilla missed 15 starts late in the year because of the injury, but the Phillies are hopeful that the recovery time will be a little less this spring.

The Phillies had concerns about Padilla's winter ball regimen, which they forbade him to take part in after the 2003 season. After last season, they let him play winter ball, since he hadn't thrown as many innings and had missed time. The thought was that it would be good conditioning for him. He threw about 25 innings in winter ball, under the watchful eye of Ruben Amaro, Sr. of the Phillies.

Like Padilla, Bell felt fine all winter until he participated in some fielding drills. Initially, he had back spasms, which he has come to expect early in camp because of a bad back. The spasms haven't lessened and the Phillies have sent Bell to Dallas to be examined at the Center for Spine Care, where he will be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins, who is familiar with Bell's back injury and the resulting problems that he has had.

The Phillies hope to have news on both players sometime Tuesday.

The injuries are made slightly easier by the fact that the Phillies have Gavin Floyd and Placido Polanco waiting for spots with the big league club. Floyd was impressive in his major league debut last season when he got an audition late in the year. Polanco accepted the Phillies' offer of arbitration, but wasn't happy at being a utility player, having lost his second base job to Chase Utley.

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