Blanton, Victorino headed to DL as injuries mount

Blanton, Victorino headed to DL as injuries mount
May 19, 2011, 11:16 pm
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Thursday, May 19, 2011
Posted: 7:16 p.m. Updated: 11:49 p.m.
By Jim Salisbury
CSNPhilly.com

The Phillies outscored themselves on Thursday night. They scored one run and sent two players to the disabled list.

Technically, Joe Blanton and Shane Victorino werent placed on the DL. Those transactions will happen Friday, when the dust settles on another ugly Phillies loss 7-1 to Colorado and front office personnel decide how to fill two roster spots.

Best guess: Righthander Vance Worley replaces Blanton on the roster and in the starting pitching rotation, and either Delwyn Young or Ronnie Belliard comes up from Triple-A to replace Victorino.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. essentially ruled out Domonic Brown for a promotion, saying, We dont think hes ready.

Phils officials will likely discuss speeding up Chase Utleys timetable, but Amaro is already on record as saying the all-star second baseman, recovering from knee tendinitis, will continue to play in Florida through the weekend. He could be activated next week.

The Phillies entered Thursday night with four players on the DL. Blanton and Victorino will make it six.

Blanton, Thursday nights scheduled starter, was forced to shut down after about 20 warmup pitches in the bullpen. He finally gave in to the elbow soreness that has plagued him since spring training. Blanton had made an earlier trip to the DL, missing two starts, but pushed to come back after an MRI showed no structural damage in the elbow. He made two starts after coming off the disabled list on May 9 and his velocity was noticeably down in both. The reduced velocity was said to be because of a cranky elbow, as pitching coach Rich Dubee called it.

Why was Blanton allowed to keep pitching with a cranky elbow?

He felt like he was fine, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

He always told us he could go, manager Charlie Manuel said.

I probably rushed back too quick the first time, Blanton said. Every pitcher has to pitch through things at times. I thought I could manage it until it got better but it kept getting worse. It was my choice to pitch. It was my fault. I didnt want to miss anything. I guess it wasnt the best decision to make.

Blanton will undergo a battery of tests, including another MRI, on Friday.

Victorino injured his hamstring running to first base on Saturday. He has not started a game since and continually told reporters he was getting better. On Tuesday in St. Louis, Victorino speculated that hed be back in two days. Phillies officials ordered an MRI on Thursday and it revealed a Grade 1 strain.

Victorinos assignment to the DL can only be backdated to Thursday, meaning he will be eligible to return on June 3. The Phils lost the ability to backdate the assignment to Sunday when he was used as a pinch-hitter in Wednesday nights game. Victorino laid down a successful sacrifice bunt that helped the Phils beat Colorado, 2-1. It was their only win in the last six games. Had Victorino been placed on the DL on Sunday, he would have been eligible to return on May 30.

If I knew how serious he was hurt I wouldnt have put him up to bunt, Manuel said. But hes on the roster and he said he could bunt so I sent him up there.

E-mail Jim Salisbury at jsalisbury@comcastsportsnet.com

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