Notes: Left wrist keeps Burrell out

Notes: Left wrist keeps Burrell out

ATLANTA -- Pat Burrell's troublesome left wrist is once again acting up and once again forcing him out of action.

But the Phillies' left fielder insists that the location of this injury, which occured last Saturday in a 7-0 loss in Baltimore, is the only similarity to the ailment that put him on the disabled list for the first time in his career for a month last season and almost led to surgery.

"It's such a small area that anything you do is going to be affected," he said. "As soon as I felt it, the first thing I thought was, 'Now I have to deal with this again.' But it's not the same thing."

The frustration of having to sit, however, is similar and all too familiar.

"I need to play. I need to be out there," said Burrell, who was named National League Player of the Week for the second time this year for the week of May 16-22, when he hit .500 (10-for-20), with three doubles, two homers, eight RBIs, a .615 on-base percentage and .950 slugging percentage. "Thome's back now. He got three hits Wednesday -- Jimmy's swinging the bat good -- and we're going the right way. But you have to be careful, too."

Burrell will be more careful the next time he steps onto the field, especially the basepaths. He'll be armed with a brace that will absorb the impact of his slides.

"I'm gonna wear the brace every time I get on base," he said. "I did the other day. I put it on when I got to first base. I had to call time out because I couldn't get the thing on.

"I should have always worn this, because I did the exact same thing in college," he said. "I slid and jammed it. These bones are so small and they get inflamed when you move your wrist around. It can be painful."

But Burrell is used to playing with pain in his wrist, and once he gets the green light, will continue to do so.

"It never got better," he said of last year's strain, which put him on the DL for a month and almost led to surgery. "It stopped hurting so my body just got used to it. It's been consistent throughout the whole year so far.

"Everybody who's in this room playing has jammed their wrist sliding. It's just sometimes you go in too hard and it's into the ground, so it's not going to give that much."

While Burrell doesn't know when he'll get back in the lineup, he does know that he's not going to get surgery, which he was told was a 50-50 proposition at best as far as repairing the damage. He even talked with Baltimore outfielder Jay Gibbons, who suffered the same injury but had to get the surgery because it affected his throwing.

"A lot of bad things can happen if it goes wrong," said Burrell. "[Gibbons] said if you can play and not have any pain, don't even think about doing the surgery."

"[Trainer Jeff Cooper] doesn't seem to be too concerned about it. He knows what I went through last year, with the guy in Philly, who was basically trying to tell me you'll never play again. Everything Coop's done to me has been 100 percent right on."

Pol position: Sitting Burrell down against John Smoltz might have been sound strategy even it he was healthy.

With Burrell sitting, Placido Polanco started in left field. After his first-inning single, which contributed to a four-run outburst, Polanco was hitting .384 against Atlanta this year (5-for-13), and is a .309 hitter (26-for-84) with two homers and nine RBIs over his career at Turner Field.

He's also now a .455 hitter (5-for-11) lifetime against Smoltz. Burrell has struggled against the Braves' righty, hitting only .063 (1-for-16) with seven strikeouts.

Rollins on a roll: With his first-inning single off John Smoltz, Jimmy Rollins had five hits in his last six trips to the plate and had reached base safely in 37 of 49 games this year. He raised his average on the current road trip to .500 (14-for-28).

"When he gets a couple of hits, we look like a different team," said manager Charlie Manuel of Rollins, who also has 12 stolen bases, tied for fourth in the National League.

The Phils are 15-9 with Rollins scores a run, 6-17 when he doesn't.

Reporting for duty: Reliever Terry Adams, who was designated for assignment on Tuesday, has agreed to report to the Phils' Triple-A affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and should arrive there Saturday.

Adams, a nine-year Major League veteran, struggled over the season's first two months, allowing 25 hits and compiling a 12.83 ERA (19 runs in 13 1/3 innings).

On deck: Jon Lieber (5-4, 4.20 ERA) looks to get back in the win column Saturday afternoon and record his second win of the season over Atlanta. Lefty Horacio Ramirez (3-3, 4.75) takes the hill for the Braves. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. ET.

Jon Cooper is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.