Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino exited Saturday’s game in the eighth inning with hamstring soreness and said afterwards that he doesn’t expect to play Sunday.
According to Todd Zolecki on Twitter, Victorino said he didn’t think a DL stint would be necessary. However, he is likely to miss a couple of days due to the problem.
Even that’s a real problem for the Phillies, who aren’t carrying a legitimate backup center fielder. Rule 5 pick Michael Martinez was their starter the one day Victorino has had off all season. Ben Francisco used to play some center for the Indians, but he’s been limited to right field this year and even as the Phillies’ fourth outfielder throughout 2010, he player there just twice all season. John Mayberry Jr., who took over for Victorino today, has never started a game in center.
The Phillies used Jayson Werth in center when Victorino missed time last year. Obviously, that’s no longer an option.
With Roy Halladay starting Sunday, we’re guessing the Phillies will want their best defensive option out there. That probably means going back to Martinez, who is 4-for-21 with one RBI and no extra-base hits as a major leaguer.
TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.
Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.
If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.
“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”
Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.
The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.
Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.