Big League Stew - MLB

Not that it wouldn't be impressive in its own right, but it's going to be downright astounding if these Philadelphia Phillies can overcome all these injuries to catch Atlanta for their fourth straight NL East title. 

The injury bug officially hit for the cycle with the Phillies infield on Tuesday as Ryan Howard(notes) headed to the 15-day disabled list with the left ankle he sprained Sunday in Washington.

Luckily, Howard and the Phillies are describing the sprain as a moderate one and they believe he'll miss about two weeks. If he comes back within that window, he will have missed less time than infield mates Chase Utley(notes), Jimmy Rollins(notes) and Placido Polanco(notes) have this season. 

Still, it's never a good thing to say goodbye to you main source of power — .292/.356/.528, 23 homers, 81 RBI — especially while he's going to hang out with Utley and center fielder Shane Victorino(notes) on the DL. Jayson Werth(notes) is hitting .440 over the last seven days and if there ever were a time to go into ultra-contract push mode, this would be it. 

Also, I will take credit* for this rash of Phillies injuries in 2010 after previously noting the team's remarkable ability to stay injury-free the past few years. That they're still only three games behind the Braves is almost a victory in itself.

*As for the concurrent trips of Kevin Youkilis(notes) (torn thumb muscle) and Travis Hafner(notes) (right shoulder) to the DL, Big League Stew will claim no responsibility. Any similarity to Howard's situation is purely coincidental. a

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