Phillies Notes: Victorino, Blanton appear to be headed for DL

Posted: May 20, 2011

Injuries continued to gash away at the Phillies roster Thursday.

Centerfielder Shane Victorino and righthander Joe Blanton appear destined for the disabled list, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said after the Phillies' 7-1 loss to Colorado.

An MRI exam on Victorino showed a Grade 1 to Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring, with Grade 2 being more severe.

"He's likely to go on the disabled list," Amaro said.

Before the game, Victorino said he felt he was making progress, but he was unaware at the time of the MRI results. Oddly, Victorino was used as a pinch-hitter to bunt late in Wednesday's win over the Rockies. He advanced the runner but gingerly ran to first base.

"If I'd known how seriously he was hurt, I definitely wouldn't have put him in to bunt," manager Charlie Manuel said.

Victorino suffered the injury Saturday in Atlanta and hasn't started since. He said he didn't aggravate the injury while running out the bunt and that the MRI exam was scheduled for Thursday before he played Wednesday.

"Obviously, I wasn't running at 100 percent, but it's definitely gotten better," he said before the game.

With his elbow still giving him problems, Blanton was scratched from his scheduled start after warming up in the bullpen.

Blanton came off the disabled list May 8 after he was sidelined with medial impingement in the elbow. In the two starts since coming off the DL, Blanton was lifted after the fifth inning as he tried to pitch through the soreness. Amaro said Blanton would likely get an MRI exam and go back on the DL.

Blanton was replaced by Kyle Kendrick, who pitched two innings in relief Tuesday in St. Louis. Kendrick lasted three innings and gave up five runs on two homers by Jason Giambi.

Utley running well

A National League scout who watched Chase Utley play at Clearwater on Wednesday said it was difficult to tell that the second baseman has a problem with his right knee.

"I timed him at 4.19 [seconds] running to first base on an infield single, so if that knee is hurting him, that part is incredible," the scout said. "You can see his timing is still a little off at the plate. He struck out on a slider against a lefthander, but that's just a matter of him getting his at bats. He's moving around fine."

Utley has been on the DL since the start of the season because of tendinitis in his knee. It's possible he could return during the current homestand, which will conclude Thursday.

Lidge throws

Amaro said Brad Lidge threw well in his first session from the mound since he went on the DL with a partially torn rotator cuff.

"He felt good on the mound and that's a good thing," Amaro said.

Stutes returns

Righthander Michael Stutes pitched a perfect eighth inning in relief and struck out two, alleviating concerns about the strain he experienced in his right side that forced him to leave Tuesday's game at St. Louis.

"It turned out to be a very minor thing," Stutes said.

Stutes has held opponents scoreless in nine of his 10 appearances.

Gload in right

After John Mayberry Jr. started four straight games in right field for slumping Ben Francisco, Ross Gload got a turn at the position against the Rockies.

"He hasn't played for a while and I figure we're going against a righthanded pitcher," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I've definitely got to get him in a game to try to keep him sharp."

The lefthanded-hitting Gload went into Thursday's game leading the majors with seven pinch-hits. It's likely the move was also prompted by Mayberry's .231 average against righthanders as opposed to .276 against lefties.

"I think Mayberry has a lot of ability," Manuel said. "I've always compared him to [Jayson] Werth because he's similar size-wise and running style, and the fact he hits lefties better than righties. He's got to get more consistent hitting righthanded pitching, and that's basically the thing I used to tell Jayson Werth."

Extra bases

Cole Hamels on Wednesday became the second Phillies pitcher since 1900 to record at least six strikeouts while walking no more than one batter in five consecutive starts. The other? Roy Halladay, who did it last season. . . . Manuel said he was told Jose Contreras threw well despite the ugly pitching line from Wednesday's first rehab appearance at Clearwater. . . . Ryan Howard is hitless in his last 20 at bats. . . . Josh Hamilton, the 2010 American League MVP, is on a minor-league rehab assignment and will not play for Texas in this weekend's three-game series.


Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or rparrillo@phillynews.com

 


 

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