Phegley suffers another setback


Monday, Oct. 18, 2010
6:30 PM

By Kevin Czerwinski
What has been a very trying season for White Sox catching prospect Josh Phegley became a bit more difficult over the weekend when he was replaced on the Peoria Saguaros roster, ending his Arizona Fall League season before it even had a chance to get started.

Phegley, whom the Sox chose with the 38th overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, spent much of this season on the disabled list battling a condition known as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura ITP. He appeared in only 48 games, finishing up the season with an 18-game stint at Double-A Birmingham.

While the original intention was to have him play in the AFL to make up some lost time, blood tests revealed that his condition had not improved enough for him to continue playing. So, fellow White Sox catching prospect Jason Bour was added to the Saguaros roster while Phegley went back to Indiana to work with team and personal physicians to find a remedy.

There are still some complications from it ITP, said Phegley, who hit .284 50-for-176 at Birmingham, Winston-Salem and Bristol. We made a joint decision with the White Sox to cut the season short and take as much time as we could in the off-season to deal with the syndrome. When spring training rolls around, I want to be ready to go.

Right now everything is still up and down and it his blood is not stabilizing like we thought it would. We milked it through the regular season so I could keep playing. I dont want to do that for a long period of time. So well do what we have to do to get it figured out.

ITP is a bleeding condition in which the blood doesnt clot as it should. Its caused by a low number of platelets in the blood. Little dots, that are known as petechiae and often look like a rash, will appear on the skin to signify there is a problem. Phegley first saw the dots in early April after being hit on the thigh with a foul ball.

The consequences, had Phegley continued playing, could have been devastating. Had he suffered an injury that resulted in bleeding, the results could have been life threatening. So, the White Sox put him on the disabled list after he played on April 15 and bounced on and off for the remainder of the year as doctors searched for a solution.

Phegley is consulting a team of doctors, some working for the club and some he knows outside of baseball, to determine his options.

So far we dont know which way were really going to go, he said. Ive only been home for four days so were kind of in the process of trying to figure out what were going to do next. There are some treatments I can take that I couldnt take if I were still playing. We were kind of going the light route to allow me to stay on the field.

Now were going to do anything we have to do to fix it. I have time off now and I dont want to have to worry again about being healthy enough to play. Its been bothering me all year and Im kind of in between about playing and trying to get healthy. But this is important and Id rather come back healthy in the spring and help the White Sox out any way I can.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at

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