A "visit with Dr. James Andrews" often means bad injury news in the sports world, but the Phillies are characterizing reliever David Robertson's appointment with him Monday as a positive one.
Robertson, out since April 15 with a strain in his right elbow/forearm, got a second opinion from the renowned sports orthopedist and the goal is for the injury to heal naturally. Robertson will be shut down from throwing for three weeks.
"David feels more comfortable after this most recent diagnosis and feels more confident," manager Gabe Kapler said before Monday's Phillies-Brewers game. "It was a good news visit from our perspective."
With this recommended method of treatment, it looks like Robertson will not be able to return until late June or early July at the earliest. After the three-week shutdown period, he will have to begin a throwing program and ramp back up before beginning a minor-league rehab assignment. That will take a few weeks in itself.
The Phillies did not offer a concrete timetable but July is just six weeks away at this point.
Robertson is the highest-priced reliever in the Phillies' bullpen. He was signed this past offseason to a two-year, $23 million contract with a third-year club option.
He arrived in Philadelphia having made at least 61 appearances every season since 2010. This is the longest period of time he's missed. Robertson's only two prior career stints on the disabled list lasted no longer than a month.
Entering the season, Robertson was perceived as the Phillies' most important reliever because of his successful track record and ability to both close and set up. The Phillies' bullpen has held up for the most part without him. They enter Monday night with the eighth-lowest bullpen ERA in the majors at 3.89. The rest of the NL East has a 5.13 bullpen ERA.
Ramos to the IL
Reliever Edubray Ramos was placed on the 10-day injured list Monday with stiffness in his right shoulder. He was examined Monday and there are no long-term concerns. Ramos will not throw for a few days.
"This feels like a very short stint on the injured list but we felt like it was the right decision and conservative one," Kapler said.
The Phillies replaced Ramos on the active roster with left-hander Austin Davis, who is available to pitch tonight.