Injuries continue to pile up for the Phillies, as Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that center fielder Shane Victorino has left the team in Florida and traveled back to Philadelphia to have his thumb examined by a hand specialist.
Victorino injured his thumb Sunday and missed yesterday’s game while wearing a protective sleeve, with Michael Martinez filling in for him in a 1-0 victory.
Zolecki writes that the current plan is for Victorino to rejoin the Phillies in time for tomorrow night’s game in Florida, but obviously that will depend on what the specialist determines today and in the meantime they’ve added John Mayberry Jr. to the roster as an extra outfielder.
Philadelphia’s disabled list is already packed with pitchers Ryan Madson, Jose Contreras, Brad Lidge, Joe Blanton, and Roy Oswalt, plus third baseman Placido Polanco has been struggling to play through back problems for two months now, but losing Victorino would really hurt. He leads the team in batting average (.303), on-base percentage (.376), slugging percentage (.524), OPS (.900), and runs (53) in addition to his usual defensive value in what has been the best season of his career so far.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.