It may be something minor that can be remedied with a couple of days of rest and massages, and the Flyin' Hawaiian will be back covering huge chunks of real estate in center field and speeding around the basepaths.
The Phillies are certainly hoping it's nothing more - because if it is, they could be in a bind. They have no one behind Victorino with significant experience in center field, and the team's usual leadoff hitter, Jimmy Rollins, is batting third because of Chase Utley's knee problem.
Victorino has had two previous calf injuries - one in 2007 that put him out for 22 days, and another in 2008 that cost him 16 days. Both those injuries were to his right calf. This one happened to his left calf. He sounded convinced this one wasn't nearly as bad because he lost no strength in the calf.
"I was coming off the field in the fifth inning and felt something," he said. "It was weird. I don't know if it was cramped up that bad but, yeah, my strength was there."
In a worst-case scenario, Victorino will have to endure what Rollins went through last season when he injured his calf muscle while running a wind-sprint in the outfield preparing for the season opener. Rollins missed almost half the season and never really got to a point where he could hit the accelerator running the bases. Like Rollins, Victorino's game is in his legs.
There's little doubt the Phillies had the possibility of an injury to an outfielder on their minds when they decided to keep Michael Martinez and release second baseman Luis Castillo. But as much as the 28-year-old Martinez impressed manager Charlie Manuel during spring training with his energy and versatility, up to now he's been a career minor-leaguer who has yet to distinguish himself as a hitter. Also, Martinez had played only 29 games in center during his career before he saw limited time there during spring training.
If Victorino is out for an extended period of time, Manuel's most likely option is to play John Mayberry Jr. in center, as he did Saturday when Victorino was taken out of the game after the fifth and Mayberry pinch-hit for him. Manuel said before Saturday's game he sees noticeable improvement in the way Mayberry is handling himself at the plate.
Before he left the game, Victorino had ended an 0-for-5 start by flaring a two-run single to right to give the Phillies a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. He went back out to play center in the fifth, but couldn't continue.
Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or email@example.com.