Finally the pain was worsening.
"I said 'It's been two months,' so we decided to give me some relief," Victorino said before Friday's game with the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.
Victorino entered Friday night's game in top of the eighth inning as a defensive replacement. With two outs in the eighth, the Phillies made a double swtich and Victorino was replaced by Juan Pierre, who went to left, moving John Mayberry Jr. back to center. Jonathan Papelbon came in as part of the double swtich.
After starting the first 52 games of the season, Victorino said he fully expected to be in the lineup for Saturday's 4:05 p.m. matchup with the Marlins.
A switch-hitter, Victorino said the hand bothers him only when he bats lefty. This season he is batting .227 lefthanded in 163 at-bats and .333 in 45 at-bats righthanded.
"It's going to be there the rest of the year, and the cortisone shot hopefully brings some relief and brings a better feel to that area," Victorino said.
Victorino had been the only player to start all 52 games for the Phils. Freddy Galvis, who was in Friday's starting lineup, has appeared in all 53 games. Friday was his 44th start.
"I think [Mayberry] can play all three [outfield positions], and the fact that he has the talent and ability to play center field makes him that much more valuable to our team," manager Charlie Manuel said.
Howard gives update
Ryan Howard said things were progressing at a positive pace, but he gave no timetable when he updated his rehabilitation from left Achilles tendon surgery on his podcast (ryanhoward6.com).
"It's really going very well," Howard said. "I have been hitting in simulated games, still doing all my baseball stuff."
Howard said he has been doing some light jogging.
"The last thing to come is running and being able to step up and sprint," he said.
Thome, Martinez in Fla.
First baseman Jim Thome (lower back strain) and infielder Michael Martinez (fracture in right foot) began rehabilitation assignments Friday with single-A Clearwater.
Martinez hasn't played all season. Thome went on the disabled list May 2, retroactive to April 29.
Manuel said last week he hoped Thome would return by June 8, when the Phillies visit Baltimore, the first of nine consecutive games in American League cities.
The Phillies will need a designated hitter in those games, and if healthy, Thome would be a candidate.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said that it's realistic to expect Thome back for the Baltimore series.
"If he doesn't have any setbacks," Amaro said.
Chooch comes back
Carlos Ruiz, who didn't start any of the three games this week in New York against the Mets because of right hamstring tightness, was back in the lineup and hitting cleanup.
Ruiz did have a key two-run home run as a pinch-hitter in Wednesday's 10-6 win over the Mets at Citi Field.
Victorino sits after receiving cortisone shot to right hand. E6
Contact Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @sjnard.