Courier Post wrote:
To DL or not DL: Jim Thome isn't healthy.
Neither is Kenny Lofton and there are some doubts about several other nonpitchers in the clubhouse.
And yet, none of the above are thinking about the disabled list, at least not today. Tomorrow, well that's another question.
"I don't want it to get to that point," said Thome, who has had back spasms on and off since spring training and aggravated his back in Saturday night's 2-1 loss to the Marlins when he broke up a double play. "But this is something - we have great trainers who do a wonderful job. Let's see how it progresses, and we'll go from there."
Meanwhile, a short bench - due to 12 pitchers - is getting even shorter as manager Charlie Manuel sits players to try and get them healthy.
"I want a full bench," Manuel said. "I want to play with a full deck. We need to get healthy. We need a full roster.
"I'm not happy but I've been there before. Once you make the decision to put someone (on the disabled list) it's done. That's 15 days, not four or five. Got to give him a day or two and see where (Lofton's) at. If you can't play, you can't play."
Thome agreed, but that doesn't mean he wants to sit. He also knows that he can help this team, but he needs to be healthy to do so.
"You have to do the best thing for your club," Thome said. "You've got to prepare every day to get on the field."
Which makes it questionable why, with a bad back, it wouldn't be better to have him sit out a 10-game road trip of hotel beds, planes, trains and automobiles.
"There is that concern, yeah," said Thome, who nevertheless will travel to New York, Chicago and Milwaukee over the next two weeks. "I'll be on the trip, for sure.
"You want to do the best you can to be on the field. At the same time, you don't want to put Charlie in an uncomfortable spot. We'll sit down in the next day or two and talk it over."
Understand, Thome won't use his bad back as an excuse, but it's hard not to see that his .203 average along with one home run and 12 RBIs is below the Phillies' and Thome's expectations.
"I don't want to say that," Thome said of the fact his hitting has suffered since a road trip to Atlanta in which his back flared up. "For me, that would be an excuse."
"His back's been hurting coming and going," Manuel said. "Sooner or later I want him well. I want to put Thome out there healthy. If he's not well, we'll sit down and make some arrangements about it."