Rowand update

Following his heroic catch in centerfield in which he smashed nose first into the outfield fence, Aaron Rowand was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured nose and non-displaced fractures around his left eye. He had surgery this morning at Thomas Jefferson Hospital where his nose was reduced and readjusted, according to the Phillies assistant general manager Ruben Amaro in a press release.

Rowand also received 15 stitches for lacerations to his face, but is expected to be released from the hospital this afternoon.

To take Rowand’s place on the roster the Phillies called up Chris Roberson from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In the minors, Roberson was hitting .287 (39-136) with 19 runs, 10 doubles, one triple and eight RBI in 34 games.

For those who missed it, here’s what happened:

Rowand, the Phillies’ blood-and-guts centerfielder who once described himself as more bulldozer than fence climber, took one for the team and then some in the rain-shortened, 2-0 victory over the New York Mets.

After starting pitcher Gavin Floyd had walked the bases loaded with two outs in the first inning, his 3-2 offering to Xavier Nady – his 28th pitch of the opening inning – was launched deep toward the far center-field fence that surely was slated to be at least a bases-clearing triple. It’s also very likely that Nady’s blow would have spelled the end for the reeling and delicate Floyd.

But at the last minute, Rowand reached out as far as he could with his gloved hand, pulled the ball in, took a half step and crashed – nose first – into the exposed bar beneath the green padding near the 398-foot sign. Somehow he had the wherewithal to show that he held onto the ball, then rolled over on all fours and bled all over the warning track.

“I’ve seen some great plays, but that one definitely ranks up there with the best of them,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “That might be the best effort and determination I’ve ever seen.”

Outfielder Pat Burrell frantically waved toward the dugout to summon help upon reaching his fallen teammate as manager Charlie Manuel and several other Phillies dashed out to the centerfield warning track to Rowand’s aid.

Finally, Rowand walked off the field with the aid of trainer Mark Andersen and several paramedics where he was taken to Thomas Jefferson Hospital.

On Tuesday Rowand had X-rays taken for his left hand after he was drilled by a pitch from the Mets’ Pedro Martinez. He had spent the past few days with an ice pack tied to his hand to reduce the swelling, but did not miss any game action with that injury.

Acquired in the trade that sent Jim Thome to the Chicago White Sox, Rowand is hitting .310 with six homers and a .516 slugging percentage in 33 games. In the Phillies’ last 10 games, in which they are 9-1, Rowand has been a catalyst, going 11-for-34 at the plate with three homers and 10 RBIs.
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Here’s the catch with Harry and L.A. from last night’s broadcast on CSN:

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FYI: Here’s an interesting story about everyone’s new favorite player in the New York Times.

Also: Here’s an interesting note from Paul Hagen in today’s Daily News:

When the Padres saluted the Negro Leagues on May 6 by wearing throwback uniforms, San Diego starter Jake Peavy found his own way of paying tribute. On his first pitch to Cubs leadoff hitter Juan Pierre, he went into a double-pump windup reminiscent of Satchel Paige.

“It just seemed like the right thing to do,” Peavy explained. “I just wanted to say, ‘I know what you guys did and who you are.’ “

His African-American teammates appreciated the gesture.

“For a young guy, he’s way ahead of his time,” said first-base coach Tye Waller. “Jake’s so aware of things. He knows history and the game. He loves the game and respects it. It was like he reached out and touched our heritage.”

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