Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino left the Phillies in Florida on Tuesday to have his sore right thumb examined by a hand specialist back in Philadelphia.
The results are in.
According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Victorino was diagnosed Tuesday evening with a Grade 1 sprain of his right thumb. The Phillies are considering placing him on the 15-day disabled list but won’t make anything official for at least another 24 hours. They want to see if the situation improves after Victorino takes a day or two of rest.
Here’s Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, speaking Tuesday to CSNPhilly.com:
“Will he miss some time? Probably. How much? I don’t know. I don’t think it’s going to be a whole lot. I say that sometimes and the guy goes from two weeks to six months. We’ll see.
I know his hand is swollen up. He has a jammed thumb. He can’t grip the ball. And it’s hard to grip the bat. They wanted to run some tests and see if something was wrong with it.”
“The Flyin’ Hawaiian” jammed his thumb Sunday while chasing after a fly ball. He’s batting .303/.376/.524 with nine home runs and 34 RBI in 302 plate appearances, and also has 13 stolen bases in 15 attempts.
John Mayberry was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to provide outfield depth in Victorino’s absence.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.