In a surprise but completely understandable announcement, Ruben Amaro told the press today that the Phillies would not use infielders in any of their remaining spring training games. "I understand it makes the games difficult for our team, but after the scare with Freddy Galvis today following everything else we've been through this spring, we can't afford to lose another infielder. Our guys will just have to make due with only 5 men on the field."
Reached for comment after Amaro's announcement, manager Charlie Manuel reluctantly admitted it was the best the team could do. "Look, at this rate, we're going to have an opening day infield of Tim Kennelly, Cesar Hernandez, Miguel Abreu, and Hector Luna. And that's only if those guys stay healthy. After them, we've got Darin Ruf, Carlos Perdomo, Troy Hanzawa, and Maikel Franco. Besides their mothers, is that what anyone wants?"
Amaro elaborated: "With Ryan Howard and Chase Utley out for the foreseeable future, our only regulars starting in the infield are Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco. Polanco's already a bit banged up, and Jimmy is in our infielder-protection program. Now with Galvis' foot hurting, and Thome on the wrong side of 40, we just can't risk their health in the remaining spring games."
Pressed for information about Rollins' "infielder-protection program," Amaro explained that the Phillies started a round-the-clock injury prevention program with Rollins. He sleeps in a straight-jacket in a bed surrounded by metal rails to prevent him from falling out. Immediately upon waking, Scott Sheridan appears at Rollins' bedside and accompanies him throughout the day. While taking batting practice, Rollins wears specially designed Barry-Bonds-esque body armor, but this version covers his entire body. During infield practice, the groundscrew combs the dirt around him before every play so that balls won't take odd bounces. All food that Rollins consumes is pre-chewed by Sheridan to prevent any risk of choking. He is mandated by the team to get at least 10 hours of sleep per night to keep him mentally healthy and well rested.
Nonetheless, even with that protection in place, Amaro felt the need to implement this drastic measure. "Fans at our spring training games may be disappointed, but we just can't risk it anymore."
Asked to give further information about how the games would actually progress without infielders, Amaro shook off reporters. "I would love to talk about this more with you, but I have to get back to trying to persuade the Reds to give back Wilson Valdez. He was our MVP last year, and I stupidly traded him for nothing. Think they'll take Dom Brown for him?"