For the Tyson Gillies fans out there . . .
By GREGG DRINNAN
Daily News Sports Editor
A sore hamstring may be about to bring Tyson Gillies’ 2010 baseball season to a premature end.
Gillies, a 21-year-old from Kamloops, has been in Clearwater, Fla., on a rehab assignment from the Class AA Reading Phillies. Prior to Friday, he hadn’t played in a game since June 18.
A centre fielder whose speed is a major component of his game, Gillies first injured his left hamstring in May. He spent May 12 to June 15 on the disabled list, came off for two games, re-aggravated the injury, and went back on the DL on June 25.
The injury originally was thought to be a strain. Now, though, Gillies said, “We’re not sure what it is . . . exactly. I just know it has to get healthy.”
With Reading, he hit .238 with two home runs and six RBI in 105 at-bats over 26 games. He only had two stolen bases.
Following a breakout season with the High Class A High Desert, Calif., Mavericks in 2009, Gillies was acquired by the National League’s Philadelphia Phillies as part of an offseason trade in which they sent left-hander Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners.
Gillies attended Philadelphia’s training camp and was assigned to Reading for his first season at Class AA.
Of late, he had been working out with the Phillies’ Gulf Coast League (rookie) team in Clearwater, Fla. He played in two games over the weekend, going 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and an RBI. He scored three runs.
But something just wasn’t right so he has shut it down again.
“I had another MRI scan (Tuesday) and then might have to meet with Dr. Andrews,” Gillies told The Daily News in an email last night, referring to Dr. James Andrews, the well-known orthopaedic surgeon who works out of Birmingham, Ala. “We will have to see.”
Gillies, who had never before suffered an injury, said that his “main concern is for next season” and admitted that may mean taking the rest of this season off and working over the winter to get healthy.
This was especially frustrating because he thought he was ready to get back into action.
“It felt great to start playing again,” he said. “It was great. I was hitting the ball real well and feeling comfortable with my new hitting approach."
He has been working on being more relaxed while at the plate and also trying "to slow things down and separate my hands from my body."
As he said, he is "finally figuring out the little things coaches have been trying to explain, things you have to struggle with and feel for yourself."
But with his left hamstring "not responding well to anything," he said a decision may have to be made in the next few days. That decision may result in having to “shut it down for the rest of the season.”