It appears as if the Phillies will add a right-handed bat this week that will be ready to play whenever an opposing team starts a left-handed pitcher or brings in a left-handed reliever.
Barring a setback Sunday in his rehab assignment with double-A Reading, Shane Victorino is expected to come off the disabled Tuesday and play against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Victorino, out since July 4 with a sprained thumb ligament, went 3-for-5 as a designated hitter for Reading Friday night at Trenton.
"Victorino’s at-bats were lefthanded against a righthanded pitcher and today he will face a lefthander," Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. "He will play the field today and if all goes well, he will head to Chicago (Monday)."
Placido Polanco, sidelined by inflammation in his lower back since July 5, is hoping to return to the lineup Wednesday against the Cubs, but that scenario may not be as likely as Victorino's return.
"We will see how he continues to progress ... taking ground balls and hitting and see how he feels," Proefrock said. "Ideally we’d like to have him be out on the field for 7-8-9 inings a couple of times beforehand. We will have to see how it plays out and how he feels . He says he is feeling good and is feeling better."
Infielder Pete Orr is likely to be sent to triple-A Lehigh Valley when Victorino is activated from the disabled list. Whenever Polanco returns, the Phillies will have to decide if they want to send down John Mayberry Jr., Ben Francisco or perhaps go with 11 pitchers. Manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee have never seemed comfortable with the 11-pitcher scenario.
In other news, Brad Lidge threw a perfect inning with one strikeout for Reading as he continued his rehab assignment Saturday.
"Lidge pitched and felt good afterward," Proefrock said. "His velocity was in the high 80s."
Lidge was scheduled to pitch again Sunday at Reading and then perhaps Wednesday at single-A Lakewood. He is hoping to rejoin the Phillies Friday when they open a homestand against San Diego.
Roy Oswalt, meanwhile, was cleared by doctors to throw off a mound Tuesday in Chicago for the first time since he went on the disabled list with a back injury after a June 23 outing in St. Louis.
"He will throw a bullpen Tuesday and tentatively again on Friday and after that we'll see what the next step is," Proefrock said.
Reliever Jose Contreas, out since June 20 with a strained forearm, will also start a throwing program tues in Chicago.
Joe Blanton, meanwhile, took a step back in his quest to return from an elbow injury when he was not able to throw a bullpen session as scheduled Saturday in Clearwater.
"He said he could have thrown it, but he had a little discomfort and didn’t’ want to push it," Proefrock said. "He may be coming to Philadelphia to see (team physiscian Michael) Ciccotti depending on how he feels."
Rollins in lineup
After leaving Saturday's game with tightness in his right leg, shortstop Jimmy Rollins was back in the lineup for Sunday's series finale with the New York Mets.
"Charlie talked to him afterwards and he is fine," Proefrock said.
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