Injuries more frequent than runs for slumping Phillies

Shane Victorino will likely be placed on the DL with a strained hamstring. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

The injuries are becoming more frequent than the hits and runs for the Phillies.

After a rain-soaked 7-1 loss to a revived Jason Giambi and the Colorado Rockies Thursday night, GM Ruben Amaro was charged with running down the latest list of injuries.

Center fielder Shane Victorino, who had not started a game since Saturday, has a "Grade 1/Grade 2 hamstring strain," and "is likely to go on the disabled list" according to Amaro. The significance of the injury was revealed by an MRI that was performed Thursday.

Victorino's trip to the DL could have been backdated to Sunday, but manager Charlie Manuel used him as a pinch-hitter to lay down a sacrifice bunt during Wednesday's game against Colorado. Manuel admitted he would not have used Victorino if the MRI results had shown the extent of the injury Wednesday.

Is it time for the Phillies to call up Domonic Brown from the minors?

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Amaro said the team would likely make a roster move Friday, but said Lehigh Valley right fielder Domonic Brown was unlikely to fill Victorino's roster spot.

"We don't think he's ready to do it," Amaro said.

Given how the Phillies have struggled at the plate, it will be interesting to see who the team deems is a better option than Brown.

Righthander Joe Blanton, after being scratched from Thursday's scheduled start 20 minutes before game time, also appears headed back to the disabled list with an elbow injury. He was on the DL earlier this season with the same injury and had continued to complain about soreness, but Amaro insisted the pitcher was not injured.

"It didn't feel great the last start but I was able to get loose," Blanton said. "It just never would come around today."

Blanton blamed himself for trying to pitch through pain.

"It's probably a case of I rushed back maybe earlier than I should have," Blanton said. "The MRI, they said structurally nothing was wrong and every pitcher has had things that don't feel good ... and I didn't feel bad when I first came back. The thing gradually kept getting worse again and I thought I would be able to manage it from start to start until it got better. It just kept getting worse."

Blanton is expected to have another MRI examination Friday. His spot on the roster will likely be filled by Vance Worley, who was optioned to Lehigh Valley earlier this week after two strong starts for the Phillies.

After the Phillies managed just six hits and a run off Jhoulys Chacin and two Colorado relievers, shortstop Jimmy Rollins admitted that the long list of injuries are taking their toll on the team, especially on offense.

"It's not fun ... but those things happen," Rollins said. "The good thing is we're still in first place."

The Phillies (26-17) remained 1 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Florida Marlins, who lost to the Chicago Cubs, but that was the only good news on another rainy night at Citizens Bank Park.

The one bit of good news offered by Amaro was that Brad Lidge, out since the start of the season, threw off a mound and felt good. But it's going to be a while before Lidge pitches in a big-league game and he will not solve the dead-wood issue that has spread to every bat in the injury-besieged lineup.

"It's important to be healthy, but that's obviously not going to happen for some time," Rollins said. "We have to remember we're in first place and not feel like we're in last place. It's kind of like that around here because we're struggling and not scoring runs and it's kind of weighing on everybody. We know we're still in first place and that's what we have to keep telling ourselves. After all this, we still have a chance to hold on until we get healthy."


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