At this rate, Jimmy Rollins is going to hit .340 this season, have the highest on-base percentage of his career - and play 30 games.

Fortunately for the Phillies, and for Rollins, the current rate, which involves playing a handful of games and then landing on the disabled list, won't continue. At least, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. seems pretty confident it won't.

"We think this is a two-week thing," Amaro said Saturday, just after the Phillies returned their shortstop to the disabled list, and just before they nearly suffered a no-hit indignity against Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Red Sox.

The injury to Rollins, a strain of the right calf muscle, is the same injury that previously caused him to miss 30 games this season.

"It's unfortunate," Amaro added. "I don't know if it's worrisome."

Well, that makes one of him. Not that the Phillies can't stay competitive without Rollins. They were 18-12 while he was out before, with a combination of Juan Castro and Wilson Valdez filling in at shortstop. It's just that it would be nice if the injuries that have nagged the team so far this season could be resolved before they actually add up to something.

In the case of Rollins, the latest calf strain, which Amaro characterized as "much milder than his last one," might heal for good before Rollins is eligible to return June 6. That's the plan. Of course, that was also the plan before he was reinstated for Monday's game.

"It was knocked out. He reinjured it," Amaro said. "It was completely healed. I don't know [if the two injuries] are interrelated, but I know it was completely resolved when he came back to play again."

If so, it's an amazing coincidence, and maybe worrisome is too strong a word, but until Rollins can return to the lineup and stay there, it seems fitting.

The Phillies have been able to overcome injuries the last two seasons as they made their way to the World Series both times. A lot of the injuries were to the pitching staff, but Rollins, Shane Victorino, and Jayson Werth were all on the disabled list in 2008, and Carlos Ruiz and Raul Ibanez went on the DL in 2009.

At the moment, the Phillies have five players on the list: Rollins, catcher Brian Schneider, and pitchers Brad Lidge, J.A. Happ, and Ryan Madson.

"This has happened pretty much every year for the last several years. We've lost guys every year, but we've been pretty resilient," Amaro said. "It would be nice to have the 25 guys that we were planning on having at the start of the season, but that's part of the game. I don't think anybody's going to cry for us. You just keep going out and play."

Maybe the story of this season will turn out like 2008 and 2009, with an extended run in the postseason. Going into Saturday night's game with the Red Sox, the Phillies still had the best record in the National League.

They have constructed that record despite missing Rollins, despite a slow start by Ibanez, and despite all sorts of upheaval in the back end of their bullpen. So, yeah, maybe it won't matter this time, either.

Baseball is not always so forgiving, however, and a recurring calf injury for a player whose game is largely based on speed is a test of its patience.

Manager Charlie Manuel has been around long enough to know baseball's rhythms. Castro and Valdez are serviceable replacements - although Manuel would prefer Castro didn't hurt himself quite so often - but the absence of Rollins will cost the team eventually.

"He's a big part of what we're trying to achieve," Manuel said.

Rollins didn't fight the decision, even though strain is classified as a Grade 1 or mild strain. An MRI taken Saturday morning showed some pooled blood in the area, but nothing alarming.

"We don't want to mess around with this, so we decided we've got to take care of it," Amaro said. "It might not take [the entire 15-day DL stint], but we can't afford to put ourselves in a position where it gets reinjured and turns into something serious."

Not to disagree, but two injuries in the same place in the first two months of the season seems a little serious already. There isn't much to be done about it. The Phillies are taking a conservative approach - although not admitting they might not have been conservative enough last time - and that is the way to go.

The lesson of 2008 and 2009 is that these things happen and they don't have to derail a team, or even keep it from making the World Series. The lesson of the other 130 years of the game is that you shouldn't push your luck.

Contact columnist Bob Ford
at 215-854-5842 or bford@phillynews.com.
Read his recent work at http://go.philly.com/bobford.