Victorino flies through first rehab start with IronPigs

Shane Victorino puts on his game face (left) while playing at Lehigh Valley as he rehabs from an abdominal injury. Above, Victorino makes a play in centerfield. If all goes well in the next two games, the centerfielder could be back with the Phillies on Friday.
Shane Victorino puts on his game face (left) while playing at Lehigh Valley as he rehabs from an abdominal injury. Above, Victorino makes a play in centerfield. If all goes well in the next two games, the centerfielder could be back with the Phillies on Friday.
Posted: August 11, 2010

ALLENTOWN - Shane Victorino felt so good, he couldn't stop playing.

Victorino exited his first rehab outing, with Triple A Lehigh Valley, with a hit and a flyout, two fly balls caught, no dives back to first - the way he strained his left abdominal muscle - and lots of energy.

When he left the game in the middle of the fifth inning, he went straight to the indoor batting cage to get more work, eager to further sharpen himself for a possible return to the Phillies on Friday. He will play seven innings here tonight and nine tomorrow night.

"The timing's a little off. Fielding felt good. The running felt good. That's all that mattered to me," he said. "I don't feel anything at all. Matter of fact, I'm going to take some extra swings right now."

Victorino, the Phillies' centerfielder, played center and batted second for the IronPigs and singled in the first inning on a high fastball. He flied out in the fourth.

As important, he had to scamper from first to second in the first inning, the front end of a doubleplay. He tried to break it up, and, after minimal contact with Buffalo Bison Justin Turner, suffered no further injury.

He suffered no trepidation.

"If it's there, it's there. It will let me know. The slide into second - there was no hesitation," Victorino said.

Similarly, in the top of the fifth, he had to break to his right and run down a fly ball in the left-centerfield gap, a play he made easily, delighting the announced sellout crowd of 10,000 on hand to watch the Flyin' Hawaiian see whether he still had his takeoff capacity.

So far, so good.

"To me, that's everything," Victorino said.

He didn't have to make any sudden movements to his right, however. A dive back to first base July 27 landed Victorino on the disabled list.

"Honestly, I want to try to dive back. Try to get picked off - not picked off, but [draw] a throw over," he said, laughing. "Diving back - that's the test. How I hurt it. I want to do it in a game situation."

He was on first base against Bisons lefty Pat Misch in the first inning, but he didn't draw a throw.

"I was ready to dive," Victorino said.

A switch-hitter, Victorino is ready to try hitting from the left side, too - something he might not get to do until tomorrow. The IronPigs face another lefty starter, Kris Johnson, tonight. Victorino might get a chance to hit righthanded if the Pigs chase Johnson before Victorino leaves the game.

"We'll see what lefthanded feels like," he said.

A .284 career hitter entering this season, Victorino was hitting only .250, but with 15 homers and 53 RBI, when his season was interrupted.

Tonight and tomorrow, with Red Sox affiliate Pawtucket coming in - and bringing the designated-hitter rule with them - Victorino could choose to only hit, but he told Phillies athletic trainer Scott Sheridan he wanted to play the field, too.

"I don't want to sit," Victorino said. "I don't want to sit there and let things cool down."

He didn't want things to end last night, either.

"I wish I could have played seven tonight," he said after his exit.

Rest assured, he still would have gone to the cage for extra work. *

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|