Schneider out a few days; lineup shakeup

PITTSBURGH -- Brian Schneider has a sprained left thumb -- the same injury Chase Utley was originally diagnosed with -- but it isn't nearly as severe as Utley's. Schneider's thumb is in a splint for the time being but he said he's available to play in an emergency situation.

That leaves Dane Sardinha, the Phillies' fourth-string catcher entering 2010, as the starter.

Schneider asked to come out of the game Thursday because he couldn't grip a bat. On Friday, the thumb was still sore but he took some swings and said he could do it in a game should something happen to Sardinha.

With Carlos Ruiz (concussion) still on the disabled list, the Phillies are down their top two catchers.

But considering everything else, Schneider's injury is a good break for the Phillies, who have suffered setback after setback this season. Seven players are currently on the disabled list.

Schneider's injury is not serious enough to call for catching insurance, like Paul Hoover at triple-A Lehigh Valley. Hoover started at catcher for the Iron Pigs on Friday night.

For now, Charlie Manuel will play a man down. The manager said he will try to avoid using Schneider at all costs over the next few days. Schneider said he expects to be sidelined for the rest of the weekend barring an emergency.

The only other player on the roster who could catch is rightfielder Jayson Werth, who came up as a catching prospect. In between innings Thursday, reserve infielder Brian Bocock warmed up Cole Hamels.


Here's the starting nine Manuel concocted for Friday:

1. Jimmy Rollins SS
2. Raul Ibanez LF
3. Jayson Werth CF
4. Ryan Howard 1B
5. Ben Francisco RF
6. Greg Dobbs 3B
7. Wilson Valdez 2B
8. Dane Sardinha C
9. Jamie Moyer P

It's the first time Ibanez is batting second this season. He did it twice in 2009 and has done it 18 total times in his career. Manuel said Ibanez has been drawing walks of late and wants a lefthander batting second so he could possibly put one through the right side and advance a runner on first to third.

The man ahead of him, Rollins, is back in the leadoff spot after hitting third since Utley went down. Manuel gave Shane Victorino the night off, but Rollins could stay in the leadoff spot when Victorino rejoins the lineup, Manuel said. Makes sense -- Rollins is better suited for the top and Victorino's skills translate lower in the order.