Phillips day to day with knee contusion

Braves second baseman not expected to need DL stint

Phillips day to day with knee contusion

ANAHEIM -- The Braves elected to withhold Brandon Phillips from their starting lineup against the Angels on Tuesday, as the second baseman completes his recovery from a right knee contusion he sustained Sunday.

Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said Phillips won't land on the disabled list, and is considered day to day.

"Last night, the spikes were on and he was ready, if need be," said Snitker, "so if he has to play, he's available. We're just trying to stay from him another day."

Phillips indicated his intention was to play in Monday's 6-3 win over Los Angeles, but his knee swelled up following the plane trip to Southern California ahead of the contest. He said Tuesday that the swelling had gone down, but "I just can't put all of my weight on my back leg," hampering him when hitting or attempting to steal a base.

The veteran infielder said he would try fielding ground balls and taking batting practice before Tuesday's matchup to see how he felt.

"I could [be designated hitter] right now if they wanted me to," he said. "I can go out and just put the bat up, and try to get the game-winning hit or something like that. I can do that."

Still, Phillips, 35, said he'd prefer to line up at second base if afforded the chance, before jokingly adding that DH stints are for "when I get real old."

In fact, injuries are something he said he's not necessarily familiar with.

"Early in my career, I didn't get hurt at all," the 16-year veteran said. "This is all new to me. Hitting myself in the knee -- I never did that before. I got a groin injury [on April 26]; that's the first time that ever happened to me.

"I don't know if my body is starting to get older a little bit, but I'm still here and I haven't been on the DL. I'm going to try and play through it. I should be in there tomorrow."

Worth noting

• Starting right-hander Bartolo Colon entered Tuesday's contest sporting a 2-5 record with a 6.96 ERA. His struggles could be attributed to the lessened effectiveness of his fastball.

According to Statcast™, opponents are slugging .589 against Colon's two- and four-seam fastballs, compared to .418 in 2016. Although his average fastball velocity is currently at 88 mph, Snitker said he thinks location has been the greatest flaw for Colon this year.

"He's usually [sound with] movement, location; stuff that's probably kept him around so long," Snitker said. "He's just had a little trouble with it."

Kaelen Jones is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. He covered the Braves on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.