May 20, 2011, 10:44 AM EDT
Aside from the putridity of a 7-1 home loss that featured three home runs off the bat of Jason Giambi, the already short-handed Phillies are expected to lose a few more bodies to the DL. Joe Blanton was scratched from the start just prior to the game with a flare up of the elbow issues that have followed him since spring training, and Shane Victorino’s hamstring finally told him it was time to shut it down.
Naturally, fans are wondering a few things today—particularly why Vic and Blanton weren’t shut down sooner, as well as who will take their places and when this offensive downturn will right itself.
Blanton was allowed to pitch in Florida with a “cranky” elbow. Victorino didn’t get an MRI right away, and was asked to pinch hit to lay down a successful sacrifice bunt on Wednesday night. The bunt was a key part of a 2-1 Phillies win, but while it likely didn’t harm his hamstring any, it restarted the clock on when Victorino can return from the DL. Rather than having his stint end on May 30th if all goes well, he won’t be eligible until June 3rd. It’s not the end of the world (that starts tomorrow, fyi), but it’s kinda wtf.
The best excuse for the Phillies’ offensive woes—and it is a legit one—is that they’ve been fielding a MASH unit, with lineups half-full of should-be minor leaguers and bench players. With Victorino set to miss the next two weeks, we will see more of the same. What we won’t see, for the time being anyway, is Domonic Brown.
Ruben told reporters after the game that Brown isn’t ready. And maybe he just means, right this second, he’s not ready. Brown missed some time with a bum finger and could need some time getting back on track before joining the big club. Or, they just may not think he’s ready in a big-picture sense. Or, maybe they’re not ready to start his service time for the season.
I won’t begin to pretend I have the first clue what’s best for Brown in the short or long term. I’m relatively confident the Phillies do, but it’s hard not to wonder. Looking up and down the lineup and around the rest of the outfield, it’s also hard to find the guys who are keeping Brown in the minors, so there are bound to be questions into the Phillies thinking on the kid until the offense comes around or Dom is in South Philly.
Add those to the injury questions, and the only solace there is today is a look at the starting pitchers, where Roy Halladay’s name is listed.
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