Cole Hamels and the Phillies dusted aside Ted Lilly and the Cubs last night in a comfortable 7-1 win, but the team suffered another setback to the top of their lineup, losing Shane Victorino to the 15-day DL with a right calf strain.
Beerleaguer: This is the same injury that sidelined Vic last season, and one begins to seriously wonder whether his body can withstand a full season. There is now significant evidence it cannot. His game is almost entirely predicated on speed, and this is his second blowout in only a few months. Manager Charlie Manuel said he planned on starting Vic only 125 times, but so far, he's been plugged into the starting lineup for every game. Jimmy Rollins' injury may have been a factor in the manager's decision to stick with Vic. While his bat only just started to come around, the center fielder's sterling glove work bailed them out on a number of occasions.
In the meantime, outfielder Chris Snelling's contract was purchased from the 0-10 Lehigh Valley IronPigs, where he had a .643 OPS. A left-handed hitter, Snelling figures to be a marginal improvement over the departed Chris Roberson, who would have gotten the call last season in this situation. Snelling's MO is nice swing, versatile outfielder, but can't stay healthy. Snelling, So Taguchi and Jayson Werth figure to split time in center while Victorino recovers. Taguchi's defense so far has failed to inspire much confidence.
While Rollins is expected back Tuesday, this is a significant setback for a Phillies team just starting to get into a good rhythm.