After what felt like a career’s worth of promising that Jose Contreras was a real person, and not just another name trapped forever on the Disabled List, the Phillies welcome back late-inning reliever Jose Contreras to the roster. Thanks to what doctors called “elbow problems,” Contreras has been away from baseball for many months, undergoing surgery and staying away from all those elbow-intensive everyday tasks that exist.
Now, however, is a different story. Instead of being a far off shadow on the horizon, Contreras will be here. With the team. Chances are he could even be used to pitch, but then again Charlie Manuel has been showing a particularly folksy affection for a dust pan from the clubhouse broom closet, so he may just give that the ball in 8th. Or heaven forbid the $50 million closer enters a game once in a while.
That or Chad Qualls, who has been aptly filling in for Contreras, which is to say, playing in the part of the game that Contreras used to play in, apparently. I actually don’t remember at all. Is he the guy with the extra finger? For a long time I also just assumed Contreras had been traded to the Nationals. So.
The point is, Contreras is back, giving us a veteran arm in the pen, and ending the very short early season Major League tenure of one Joe Savery, whose story beat reporters will gladly tell you via several paragraphs thickened with hyperbole and baseball magic.
But the important thing is to focus on which players are actually here, now, and it seems that Jose Contreras is. Again. And after several minor league appearances which we can only assume were stellar, he has to be chomping at the bit to get the ball.
Contreras completed a rehab assignment with Single A Clearwater by pitching Thursday and Friday. In five appearances with Clearwater, he was 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA.
So, here’s to finishing this sentence without Jose Contreras suffering an elbow injury.
I’m not even going to check if I did.